As Above, So Below – If “Goonies” and “Alice in Wonderland” had a child and named it Damien, this is what it would look like.
Written by: John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle
Directed by: John Erick Dowdle
I know I am kinda behind on this film. It took me a while to get around to watching it, but I am glad I did. There are few things I enjoy more than going into a movie with somewhat low expectations, and coming out the other side having been entertained and rather impressed.
The film begins with Scarlett (Weeks) traveling to war torn Iran, in search of clues to an ancient relic (the philosopher’s stone) that her father died while searching for. She finds what she is looking for, and heads to France where she believes it is hidden. She assembles your typical “Let’s go on a suicide mission together” team consisting of Translator George (Feldman), Cameraman Benji (Hodge), and guides who are familiar with the catacombs of Paris (where they must go) Papillon and (Civil) Souxie (Marion Lambert). They illegally break into the catacombs, and head off in search of their treasure. That is when the fun starts.
While the acting is good (especially that of leading lady Weeks), the setting is the star of the film. It is the eerie and uncomfortably dark and dingy catacombs that set this movie apart from the many uninspired “Found footage” films we have seen over the years. The deeper underground the team goes, the more the viewer gets the sense that they are all going to die in some horrific way. About half way through I realized that the movie was playing out like a really dark version of “The Goonies”. Each new room they enter has a puzzle to solve or an entity to escape. Super fun!
I am admittedly not familiar with the brothers Dowdle’s other work, but can tell you I will be checking the out. What they made here was a unique, smart horror film that I will be immediately purchasing on DVD. It will make a welcome addition to the old collection.
There is really nothing I disliked about “As Above, So Below”. I went in thinking it would be yet another tired ff film, with another boring plot, and sub par acting. Instead I got a fun, atmospheric thrill ride that I will recommend to my friends and family. You all should give it a chance.