It’s no secret that I am not the best at watching the horror genre. It is a genre that interests me and I try and watch them when I can but I do struggle with some as I am a bit of a wuss! Anyway apart from Oculus and The Purge:Anarchy I haven’t seen any other horrors this year, and that is if you can even call The Purge a horror film! I don’t know how but I managed to brave the cinema to see As Above, So Below.
I really enjoyed this movie, for several reasons. It was a different slant on the usual horror films. Instead of your standard slasher, haunted house or demon possession film this had something more. As Above, So Below focuses on exploration and discovery, it had a much greater feel of adventure to it than most horrors. It felt like Indiana Jones or National Treasure with a heck load of tension added in, and I really liked this. I was on edge from the word go and this never let up, a lot of this was because of the hand held camera technique that was used, I always find this scary. There weren’t that many jump scares, you could probably count them on one hand however some of them really pack a punch. This film doesn’t have to rely on the jump scares though as there is something very creepy about the whole thing. Even the terror of being trapped underground and in tight spaces was exploited well – one of the scariest scenes came off the back of this. Anyway the film is scary however I will be able to watch it again no problem and it won’t stay with me, this can be a good or bad thing. Some will say that it wasn’t scary enough then however I like when horror films are like this because it means that I can enjoy them more than on just one occasion.
This film does have a lot going on and it can be confusing at times, clearly channeling what the characters are experiencing for the most part of the film. I really was quite unsure at a lot of the aspects of this film especially where the last half and hour is concerned. Not much is explained and this again will get mixed reactions, some won’t mind as the tension is enough but others will really want to know. Usually I don’t mind if there is one main thing that isn’t explained and is left open for debate however there were just too many loose ends not tied up in this movie that I did want answers to. Where they really in Hell, who was the hooded figure, was the real stone found? etc, the list really goes on. I have even read on the message boards that the hooded figure was Lord Voldemort trying to get the philosophers stone again and this time he brought along the death eaters, as it isn’t explained this may as well be a possibility. The film is a little anti-climatic I it did just fizzle out, I did enjoy the themes of the characters pasts although I don’t think it ever really met its full potential.
Overall As Above, So Below is a good 90 minute horror movie, it is one that offers something a bit different and it does work. The tension is there from the get go and continues throughout, you will need something to hide behind on a few occasions and don’t be surprised if you spill some popcorn. Where this film falls down though is its lack of explanation and slightly disappointing ending, it is one for a re-watch though.
BIGGEST FLAW – Lack of explanation
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Bringing something new to the horror genre
Rating – 8/10