The catacombs are an eerie place, hidden deep underneath the ground in Paris.
I didn’t know what I was expecting when I went in to see this film, was it going to be good, was it going to follow the trend in horror films and be terrible? Well, I’m glad to say it was REALLY REALLY good.
Now, as far as ‘found’ footage films and anything filmed from a first person perspective, I’m not usually the guy to like them as they usually feel forced. But for all it’s worth, this turned out to be a great move, and (the ‘found’ mechanic) really added to the atmosphere and depth of the film. People have trashed As Above So Below because Harry Potter did its own take on the philosophers stone (the central point of the movie) first, but being unable to distance themselves from those films is incredibly unfortunate on their part.
The philosophers stone, for those who don’t know, is a stone of the philosophers and a legendary alchemical substance capable of turning base metals into gold and silver- and also being the elixir of life. This film did both angles really well.
The movie also incorporated many mythologies surrounding hell and allowed the viewer to have his or her own take on it. Mix all this with paranormal elements and an ‘Uncharted-esque’ treasure hunt, and you are in for one hell of a thrill ride, that is if you can get past some awkward jerky camera movements.
The main characters are archaeologists. The quest for the philosopher’s stone sees Scarlett trying to complete her fathers work, which he has been searching for his ENTIRE life. The movie incorporates elements of Indiana Jones and games such as the aforementioned Uncharted, where you have to solve a clue and then move on and then complete the next clue to progress.
In the catacombs is where the major scares happen as the unique enclosed spaces encompasses the user with a sense of dread and almost pity for the explorers. As they delve deeper into the catacombs and come across a ‘secret’ passage they delve even further, much deeper until the point of no return. It is here that the film really takes on a life of its own, adding a unique twist on the vision of hell we all know and love. The only way to escape for the adventurers is to simply push on, as they go further and further they eventually learn that the philosophers stone is not only their only means of survival, but the only way they can escape Hell.
All in all if you’re looking for an eventful thrill ride, which grabs you from the start and refuses to let go, I recommend you go watch As Above So Below. You will be in for a 1hr 30 minute thrill ride of gore and psychological horror at the best its been in a long, long time.