Wednesday, 3 September 2014

As Above, So Below (2014)

Based around the suitably creepy and claustrophobic Paris catacombs, 'As Above, So Below' follows a bunch of people (including a token black guy who is also the main cameraman  - hmm, I wonder how long he'll last? Only Sean Bean playing a loving family man a few days from retirement would have worse odds of survival than this guy) searching for the Philosopher's Stone who then accidentally stumble into what may or may not be part of Hell where pieces of their guilty past pursue them. Think of it as 'Chernobyl Diaries' meets 'Flatliners'.

The setting, to me, is what gives the film any effect. And the film does use it effectively enough at first to create a decent atmosphere. The trouble is that it can't do enough to hide the laughable 'horror' underneath (which leads to the expected silliness at the end) that doesn't scare or satisfy narratively. It doesn't even bring up anything worth thinking or talking about.

At least this used its setting to more effect than the 'Chernobyl Diaries' and had more bearable characters (not saying much). And, more importantly, I sat through this one without fidgeting too much (which means it didn't bore or irritate me as much as some other 'found-footage' films have). The end result is something you'll forget fairly soon after watching.

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