By Nicholas Farinola, Contributing Writer ||
Many horror movies released over the last decade border the line of mediocrity. I had some high expectations for As Above, So Below because its interesting premise and overall setting seemed like it would reinvent the dull “found-footage” films like the recent Paranormal Activity sequels.
The movie opens with the main protagonists, Scarlett and George, who desire to find the mystery and treasure that lies beneath the Paris catacombs, where 6 million corpses are buried. Scarlett, from the moment she is introduced, is an annoying adventurer who is willing to put her life and the lives of others in danger in order to discover the secret below Paris. Scarlett and George have trouble getting deeper into the catacombs legally, so they find help from a guy named Pap. Pap and his crew take Scarlett and George below the streets so that they can get half of the treasure. Of course, with every illegal adventure, there is bound to be peril involved.
The director did a great job setting the overall evil and eerie atmosphere. The catacombs are small and filled with the bones of the deceased from centuries ago, and it doesn’t take long for things to go down hill. The catacombs constantly rumble and block the protagonists’ passages, forcing the travelers to continue deeper and deeper into the tunnels. What I didn’t expect was the theme of religion and the descent into Hell.
I had to keep an open mind throughout this movie although some scenes felt blatantly ridiculous as the clock ticked on. However, the movie was able to surprise me. Yes, there are several jump scares, and yes, they are cheap at points, but the movie did something new with the genre, and it creeped me out for the entire hour and a half. The crew diminishes, and the twist at the end forces the viewer to think because it is somewhat confusing.
I was very happy with the odd twist ending at the conclusion of the film. The run time is modest, and I never felt bored with the movie. I went into the theater with high expectations, and on most levels, the movie exceeded them. The film is not for everyone because it does get ridiculously strange at points, but it is a ton of fun and has several frightening moments. As Above, So Below is violent, creepy, and most importantly, entertaining.
First-year Nicholas Farinola is a contributing writer. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.