Hello everybody! On this week’s New Movie Show we take a look at the recently released found footage film As Above So Below.
AS ABOVE SO BELOW
STARRING: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, Francois Civil, Marion Lambert, Ali Marhyar
DIRECTOR: John Erick Dowdle
GENRE: Horror, Found Footage
COUNTRY: United States
Miles of twisting catacombs lie beneath the streets of Paris, the eternal home to countless souls. When a team of explorers ventures into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead. A journey into madness and terror, As Above, So Below reaches deep into the human psyche to reveal the personal demons that come back to haunt us all.
As Above/So Below borrows and blends claustrophobic underground crawls with inscrutable mysticism, historical-artifact puzzle-solving, and on-the-cusp-of-hell bloodletting. You could say it sends its characters six feet under, both literally and figuratively.
Admittedly, some of that hybridization isn’t as homogenous and one-dimensional as it might immediately sound. The determined Scarlett and her fellow eccentric-academic George make for a compelling pair as they bounce ancient clues off each other while pursuing her archeologist father’s life-passion with Indiana Jones levels of glee and guts. And some of the history-lite dialogue feels like it could have been part of an involving story if only it had been exposed to the bright light of day at least once or twice.
The film that wastes a promising found-footage setting on a laughable execution. Not satisfied with making just one amateurishly shot B-movie, cowriter-director John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine, Devil) has jammed several into 93 minutes. Its like they just decided to combine Blair Witch Project, Indiana Jones, and Insidious.
Another guffaw-inducing bit: Scarlett, who believes in the existence of a stone that can turn lead into gold, dismisses the Frenchman’s warning about an “evil” passage as an “urban legend.” That line highlights the absurdity of combining found-footage horror conventions (someone always dismisses the paranormal) with a plot better suited to Saturday-afternoon serials. Found-footage uses its pseudo-documentary gimmick to depict the terrifying eruption of the unknown into the ordinary. But in a world where brilliant archaeologists believe in Philosopher’s Stones, is anything ordinary?
- Two main characters performances.
- Main characters chemistry.
- Interesting premise.
- Way too many found footage conventions (most done wrong).
- Except for main two characters, don’t give a shit about anyone else.
- Whole film is utterly absurd.
SCORE: 4.5 / 10
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