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 the…  See 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]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

The Descent: beneath the scenes; Newly remastered deleted and extended scenes; Outtakes; Descending - interview with director Neil Marshall; Director and crew commentary; Director and cast commentary; 1080P high definition 16x9 widescreen feature presentation of rated R and unrated endings; 6.1 PCM audio (uncompressed); 5.1 Dolby Digital surround EX audio; English and Spanish subtitles; Caving - a high definition experience; The Gate: The Descent underground experience: go to the next level of Blu-Ray viewing behind-the-scenes footage, in-depth interviews and commentaries, all without ever leaving the feature film!; Storyboard and scene comparisons; Stills gallery; Cast and crew biographies; Special features presented in high definition resolution

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
2. Rustic Reunion
3. Journey Begins
4. Safey First
5. Sarah's Scare
6. Leading the Way
7. Slow Down Holly
8. White Tunnel
9. Body Battle
10. On Her Head
11. All Clear
12. Pool of Red
13. Presumed Dead
14. Body Count
15. End of the Road
16. Sarah's Escape


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The Descent 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
GM1 More than 1 year ago
This is one of the scariest movies I've ever seen! The suspense was phenomenal, and had me on the edge of my seat screaming! It's about six young women exploring a cave on vacation. While inside the cave, all hell breaks loose, and they face one chilling experience after another. I watched this movie in the dark, and by the time it was over I was ready to turn the lights back on!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fantastically written and perfectly timed. This is not a slasher flick but a true suspense experience. Scared the hell out of my wife and I!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is way superior to The Cave. Also, this one has an all-female cast that is worth watching. Check it out!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The last reviewer said that The Descent "is not a slasher flick." I hate to disagree, but this is an extremely bloody slasher with throats being cut open, people being eaten alive, etc. The thing that really made this movie were the extremely claustrophopic cave scenes. Definitely a good renter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
“The Descent” is a good movie in almost every way. The tension and claustrophobia of being trapped in an unknown cave system is palpable. The previous movie of Neil Marshall was, in essence, a black comedy. There is no comedy on here. Everything is horrifying, terrifying, thrilling and scary. Six girls trapped underground and a common enemy. This film brought two things to mind while I was watching it, Aliens and the Thing, these two movies set the bar when it comes to atmosphere, and this above all others is key to a good horror film. Neil Marshall seems to be a master of this, in an era when great horror films are tough to come by. From the very beginning this movie grabs you by your collar and doesn't let go. It seems to place right in the mix of everything that is happening, and emotion, what was the last horror film anyone has seen that had emotional attachment to its characters. The gore comes pretty hot and heavy in the second half of the film, and the ending of the film is appropriately surprising and bleak, without being corny. Another big plus in my book is that the "creature" FX aren't over-the-top and don't rely on much, if any CGI. When I first heard that “The Descent” was a "creature" film, I was kind of worried because I feel that those types of films have gone severely down-hill with the advent of the over-use of CGI...but this film doesn't fall into that category. Some of the acting isn't the greatest but it doesn't really detract from the film overall, and some seem to think that the first half of the film is slow. Personally, I think that the early sequences in the caves are a great "tension-builder" as things go from bad-to-worse, and right when you think it can't go any lower, the audience is clued in to the existence of the other "inhabitants" of the caves and all hell breaks loose. “The Descent” is a pretty good horror film and shouldn't be ignored.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In order to get the full effect of this movie, watch it with as much complete darkness as possible. The film makers created this masterpiece so that the viewer was just as claustrophobic as the actors on the screen. A truly terrifying ride, if watched under the correct circumstances.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie rocks!!! its the best horror film thats come out in years. some people might think some of the graphics and blood look pretty fake but only a little. the fact that its in caves was the worst part for me! i'm not chlostophobic but caves are dark! and you can not see what is behind you... and thats scary! i highly recomend buying this movie it is worth having in your collection. You'll love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the worst movies I've ever seen. I bought this instead of renting it.. thinking it would be a fun/scary movie like The Cave. The gore, creature attacks and claustrophic scenes are alright, but short. The horrible characters and thoughtless story take the main focus. Most of the movie is spent on the characters problems instead of focusing on whats happening in the caves, or how these girls will escape or survive. The characters were awful! Killing each other, getting split up or running off and breaking their legs. Definetly rent this movie first.... ugh :(
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is one of the best horror movies in past ten years! it is scary but also has a claustrophobic feel to it too! it is one of the favorite movies of all time!!! What a gorefest! ( :
Guest More than 1 year ago
i've been hearing a lot about this that its one of hell of scary movie. after watching it i agree. what i like about this is that it starts out as not a scary movie but later on and gives it an almost real situation but adds a bit of the non human like scaryness to it that you don't see everyday. basically its about girls and exploring a new like cave.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like scary movies, you'll love this one. I have watched it three times. It isn't really a &quot chick-flick&quot like some might think. The suspense builds to a crescendo, and you can't help but get caught up in it.
02Butterfly More than 1 year ago
I love this movie! It's one of my few favorites. I rank it up there with 'The Dark Night'. I never get tired of it.
Super_Matthew More than 1 year ago
I never believed myself to clastrophobic, but after watching this movie there's a big possiblity. The movie was a great thriller and is sure to keep your heart pumping. I have to say though that the "villians" of the movie are indeed scary, but it's really the cave itself it was the scary part for me. Imagine youself being totally trapped in a dark rocky hell hole with absolutely no for sure way out. Doesn't sound fun at ALL. Basically...if your a horror movie buff or just want a good thriller...go out and see this movie!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This kept me on the edge of my seat thru the whole movie, this is the first movie that I've gotten into where I got that "closed in" feeling and I found myself holding my breath!
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