My pal Travis said this movie As Above, So Below would be right up my alley so, when my wife decided to go to bed early the other night, I fired up the cable box and gave it go.
Travis knows me a lot better than I thought he did.
This movie is really smart. Writer/director team the Dowdle brothers know their stuff. They understand what alchemy is at its heart, they’ve read their classics (including especially Dante’s Inferno), and they grasp the idea that salvation is not achieved but realized, not earned but consummated.
This is a horror movie firmly on the creepy-eerie end of the spectrum, low on gore with a smattering of good startles, filmed in jiggly-camera-docu-horror-found-footage style. Scarlett is the heroine, set a little too firmly the Laura Croft-Indiana Jones mold, picking up her father’s research where he left off. She assembles a team of explorers to venture into the catacombs that lie beneath the streets of Paris to find the Philosopher’s Stone. And here’s a plus — this is the first and only feature film ever actually shot in the famed Paris catacombs. And boy is it creepy down there. And the ending is pure genius.
So if this movie is so good, why does it only have 6.2 stars on IMDB and a score of 39% on Rotten Tomatoes? Probably because horror fans want gore not chills, everybody is sick and tired of found-footage flicks (honestly I simply refuse to watch them, and I only gave this one a chance because I got a recommendation from a friend), the set-up is rather cliche, and most folks probably aren’t smart enough to appreciate the depth of what they are looking at.
If you’re into the Western Mysteries, alchemy, inner or esoteric Christianity or Dante’s Inferno, and if you like creepy-eerie horror movies, you’ll love this film.
Rating: R (for bloody violence/terror, and language throughout)
Genre: Documentary, Mystery & Suspense, Special Interest
Directed By: John Erick Dowdle
Written By: Drew Dowdle, John Erick Dowdle
In Theaters: Aug 29, 2014 Wide
On Disc/Streaming: Dec 2, 2014
Runtime: 93 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures