4.4 23
Director: Neil Marshall

Cast: Neil Marshall, Shauna MacDonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid


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A group of close female friends on a yearly adventure vacation find themselves trapped and hunted in a series of caves by an unknown force that lurks in the shadows in The Descent, the second horror feature from Dog Soldiers writer/director Neil Marshall. After suffering a devastating car crash one year before, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) is lured to theSee more details below


A group of close female friends on a yearly adventure vacation find themselves trapped and hunted in a series of caves by an unknown force that lurks in the shadows in The Descent, the second horror feature from Dog Soldiers writer/director Neil Marshall. After suffering a devastating car crash one year before, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) is lured to the States with her friend Beth (Alex Reid) to a special spelunking trip by the fearless Juno (Natalie Mendoza), who abruptly fled from the U.K. after Sarah's accident. Along with two old friends and a new acquaintance of Juno's, the group embark on a cave expedition that takes a turn for the worse after a rock fall leaves them stranded in an uncharted cave with no map and only a handful of supplies to last them the rest of the trip. As tensions arise in the group, they are faced with another danger -- one whose love of the dark is as strong as its lust for blood. Opening to rave reviews in the U.K. in July of 2005, the creature-feature went on to show at the Venice Film Festival and garnered the top prize for Euro feature at Sweden's Fantastic Film Festival. The Descent was picked up for future U.S. distribution by Lion's Gate, whose work was cut out for them considering the tame opening of the similarly-themed stateside production of The Cave in late-August of the same year.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Recovering from a personal trauma, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) agrees to accompany five female friends on a spelunking trip in South Carolina. The group's take-charge leader, Juno (Natalie Mendoza), gets all six women lost two miles below ground, where cannibalistic cave dwellers await. The Descent was lauded in some quarters as a "progressive" gore film because its protagonists were rugged women not content to die without putting up a fight. We wouldn't go that far, but Neil Marshall's sophomore outing as a horror-film director certainly deserves praise. It's lean and taut, reflecting unusual care in every phase of production. The atavistic "dwellers" are particularly impressive; kudos to the makeup department for creating such horrifying-looking creatures. The gore effects are also convincing, although the best ones aren't seen until late in the game. Clearly, Marshall wanted the horror to build slowly and not overwhelm the audience early on. And he allots more than the usual amount of footage to group dynamics, showing how friendships dissolve and long-submerged feelings come to the surface as the party's situation becomes increasingly desperate.
All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
A bloody great achievement in pure terror, Neil Marshall's British pulse-pounder The Descent is a terrifying journey into madness that will leave even the most hardened horror veterans shaken to their cores and loving every minute of it. Boldly sporting an all-female cast, the fright flick sidesteps genre stereotypes and throws this particularly gifted ensemble group through the darkest reaches of hell, where there's zero light and little chance for hope. The frights themselves range from nail-biting thrills to extreme blood-curdling shocks that escalate in pure ferocity as the viewer is trapped in an unrelenting exercise in fear. While his peers tend to concern themselves with continually ripping off David Fincher's flash and grime (à la Seven), here Marshall turns his inspiration toward Alien and The Shining, with a bit of Deliverance added in for good measure. While he's admitted this fact in public arenas, these particular similarities are unmistakable and their influence on the film is evidenced in every second of this unique monster flick. Thanks to its heightened sense of claustrophobia and desperate human drama that ratchets up the first half of the picture, the director proves that he's learned what it takes to thoroughly engross an audience and then scare the living hell out of them. With fine casting and pristine makeup work complimenting the ingenious production design and stark cinematography, the film is a home run on all sides of production and sets the bar for small-budgeted indie shockers (the budget ended up only being around six million dollars). Modern horror films don't even begin to match what The Descent has in store for its viewers -- which is a good thing, because one wouldn't want it to get any better than this.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Audio commentary with director and crew; Audio commentary with director and cast; "The Descent: Beneath the Scenes"; Deleted and extended scenes; Storyboard and scene comparisons; Outtakes; Descending: interview with director Neil Marshall; Stills gallery; Cast and crew biographies; 16x9 widescreen version; 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround EX audio; 2.0 Dolby Digital audio; English and Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Shauna MacDonald Sarah
Natalie Mendoza Juno
Alex Reid Beth
Saskia Mulder Rebecca
Nora-Jane Noone Holly
MyAnna Buring Sam
Oliver Milburn Paul
Molly Kayll Jessica
Craig Conway Scar
Steve Lamb Crawler
Sophie Trott Crawler
Leslie Simpson Crawler
Catherine Dyson Crawler
Tristan Matthiae Crawler
Justin Hackney Crawler
Mark Cronfield Crawler
Julie Ellis Crawler
Stuart Luis Crawler
Terry Edwards Conductor
Nick Ingman Conductor

Technical Credits
Neil Marshall Director,Screenwriter
Keith Bell Associate Producer
Simon Bowles Production Designer
Michael Byrch Stunts
Christian Colson Producer
Siobhan Coughlan Stunts
William Davies Casting
Brian Hall Consultant/advisor
Jon Harris Editor
Nigel Heath Sound/Sound Designer
Paul Hyett Makeup Special Effects
David Julyan Score Composer
Jason Knox-Johnston Art Director
Tanya Lodge Makeup
Ivana MacKinnon Associate Producer
Michael Maroussas Sound/Sound Designer
Sam McCurdy Cinematographer
Kim McGarrity Stunts
Daz Parker Stunts
Paul Smith Executive Producer
Johnny Rafique Special Effects Supervisor
Jack Ravenscroft Asst. Director
Paul Ritchie Co-producer
Gail Stevens Casting
Nick Thermes Sound/Sound Designer
Nancy Thompson Costumes/Costume Designer
Phase Uk Sound/Sound Designer
Phillip West Camera Operator
Maxine Whittaker Stunts
Dan Winch Asst. Director
Jennifer Wynne Production Manager

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Descent
1. Seeking Adventure [6:21]
2. Rustic Reunion [1:46]
3. Cabin at Last [3:13]
4. Girl Talk [2:58]
5. Journey Begins [3:58]
6. Flight Plan [3:13]
7. Safety First [2:58]
8. Down the Pipe [4:18]
9. Sarah's Scare [6:17]
10. New System [4:30]
11. Leading the Way [5:44]
12. Slow Down, Holly [4:34]
13. Makeshift First Aid [4:26]
14. White Tunnel [3:43]
15. Body Battle [3:40]
16. Underworld Investigation [3:21]
17. On Her Head [5:05]
18. All Clear [6:42]
19. Pool of Red [3:20]
20. Presumed Dead [4:42]
21. Body Count [4:04]
22. End of the Road [2:40]
23. Sarah's Escape [1:43]
24. Haunting Truth [6:20]

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