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As Above, So Under Is an Underground Discovered Footage Gem

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Deep beneath the streets of Paris are historic catacombs. Miles of them are full of the useless proper beneath the toes of Parisiens simply going about their day. That’s not the plot of a film (effectively it’s, however shh), it’s a reality, and you may see precisely why it’d be an amazing hook for a horror story.

However to truly movie there, you’d want the permission of the French authorities. These catacombs are claustrophobic and never precisely suited to big-budget movie crews attempting to squeeze down them with out inflicting harm. However a small crew making a found-footage horror movie? That might work.

And lo, As Above, So Under turned the primary manufacturing of any variety to be allowed to movie within the catacombs. The end result is likely one of the most interesting discovered footage motion pictures of the 2010s.

Director John Erick Dowdle had earlier horror expertise with 2010’s elevator horror Satan, and located footage expertise with REC remake Quarantine. Right here he combines these experiences to nice impact.

A staff of explorers embarks on an expedition into the darkish labyrinth of the catacombs and finally ends up trapped by a cave-in. With their solely choice to preserve venturing deeper and deeper into seemingly unexplored depths, the group begins to be taught some darkish and horrible truths about what’s down there.

Like all the most effective horror tales, it solely involves move due to a personality’s rigid stubbornness. Perdita Weeks‘ Scarlett is headstrong, and it’s made very clear from the off that she’s keen to take large dangers for the fun of discovery. It’s this careless abandon that seals the group’s destiny and drags the viewer alongside for an more and more claustrophobic descent into an allegorical (and presumably literal) hell.

Tunnel Visions

Credit score: Common

The descent is a becoming descriptor for what the group should do, but additionally in how As Above, So Under echoes Neill Marshall‘s 2005 film of the identical identify. The cave-in scene is nearly a recreation of the one in that movie, and the best way issues go figuratively and actually south afterwards feels acquainted too. That’s not a knock on this movie, although; It’s the attractive morbid methods the group is steered in direction of one thing unknown deep beneath Paris by a sequence of misfortunes and ego journeys.

The mannequin for a lot of what happens in As Above, So Under is Dante’s Inferno as a lot as it’s The Blair Witch Undertaking. The movie makes delicate and unsubtle references to it by way of sure characters and story beats. The issues the group expertise on every ground of the catacombs displays elements of the circles of hell, so it’s no shock that the climax particularly attracts from it, as logic and purpose take one final hit.

Whereas that’s all effectively and good, the true energy of As Above, So Under is in its potential to promote claustrophobia by truly using these real-life tunnels. It understandably lends the occasions a stifling air of authenticity and matches the character’s personal anxieties about going additional into the catacombs.

Whilst chaos reigns within the latter half of As Above, So Under, it by no means loses its tight grip on its disorientating, claustrophobic environment. Similar to haunted home motion pictures compel some to go examine real-life locations with a historical past of haunting, this movie makes the concept of going into these tunnels morbidly interesting and terrifying in equal measure.

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