As Above, so Below wears its many influences on its sleeve. Its heroine is Scarlett, a former child prodigy who has grown to become a female Indiana Jones type investigating her own Da Vinci type code left by her deceased father, who was perilously close to a major discovery in the catacombs beneath Paris.
When Scarlett finds a clue that leads her back to the dusty tunnels under the French capital – many of which are populated by the homeless or fugitive – she has the common sense to summon a team of similarly intrepid young and sexy people, all equipped with Go-Pros and great dollops of fearlessness. A bravado that will soon be crushed by astonishing developments, and rendered powerless by a barrage of activity that ultimately fringes upon nonsensical.
Yep another found footage film. The best scare in the film is reminiscent of The Descent. The undertones evoke the best bits of (REC)2, and the finale contains elements of various dark themed video games, not the least of which being DOOM.
But what the critics seem to miss, is that while the film itself is silly and unamazing, it builds tension steadily, and while the final twenty minutes will have you pondering ‘wait, what?’ aloud multiple times, As Above, So Below clumsily ventures into newish territory, and while it borrows liberally from other films, at least it tries to incorporate the borrowed elements in a new setting.
I have little doubt that repeat viewings of the film will quickly only illustrate that there is indeed not much below the surface, but horror movies – even the done to death found footage ones – exist to create unease and discomfort, and for long periods As Above, So Below manages just that.
To me movie hell is simply not trying. This is hardly movie hell. It might not reach great heights but it tries like hell along the way.
Final Rating – 7 / 10. Critics don’t like horror movies. This isn’t so bad. Don’t listen to the critics and check it out.