Movie Review: As Above, So Below


As Above, So Below movie poster
As Above, So Below movie poster

As Above, So Below

Directed By: John Erick Dowdle, Written By: Drew Dowdle, Starring Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, Universal Pictures

WARNING: This review contains spoilers!

 

I am not a huge fan of found footage films. They are often predictable and boring. I had very low expectations for As Above, So Below. But I was pleasantly surprised. As Above, So Below offers the unique story of a very brave Alchemy student Scarlett, (Perdita Weeks) who is out to offer the world a discovery that will change the course of history; proving that the urban legend of Nicolas Flamel creating the Philosopher’s Stone is real. Flamel’s tombstone offers clues on the whereabouts of the stone’s location; hidden in a secret area within the Catacombs under Paris.  This is an adventure worth taking! That is, until the journey reveals otherwise.

 

As Above, So Below creepy viral image
As Above, So Below creepy viral image

Scarlett gathers a crew. Her cameraman Benji (Edwin Hodge), a friend whom she shared some fun times with, Translator George (Ben Feldman) and a team of locals to navigate the “off limits” areas  of the catacombs. Take note to the Siouxsie And The Banshee reference when you hear it in the movie. No relevance to the movie, just a reference.

 

I would not consider myself claustrophobic but, if presented with some of the situations in the movie, there would be cause for hyperventilation, dread and panic. There is one uncomfortable scene where I found that I had to concentrate on my own breathing and I was in an open wide theater! The footage inside the catacombs was fantastic! Creepy to those who find walls made of human skulls and tunnels filled with femur bones scary.

 

A few of the crew begin seeing objects and apparitions from tragedies in their pasts. The group actually finds what they were looking for; treasure and the Philosopher’s Stone… or did they? They are forced deeper into the catacombs upon discovering the Emerald Tablet which reads: “That which is above is the same as that which is below”. The only way up is down.

 

Perdita Weeks in As Above, So Below
Perdita Weeks in As Above, So Below

Now, the group’s previous actions are being mirrored as they try to reach the surface. That is, until they arrive at tunnel which has the inscription: “Abandon hope all ye who enter here”. Which legend has it, is the entrance to Hell. Of course there is no way back as the way the group came has disappeared. The characters begin to face tragedies of their pasts and the moral of the story is revealed.

 

As a horror movie fanatic, I found that the elements of the film were unsettling. Going deeper and deeper underground and ultimately finding this vision of Hell is what made the movie worthy.  I was grateful there was not an abundance of unnecessary gore. There’s no lack of hellish sound effects either.

 

It made feel like I was in a nightmare. Not a nightmare formed of monsters, demons or ghosts… but the places our mind goes when when we are in a dark dream and our fears are manifested as quick as we think of them.  Therefore, I left the theater satisfied and thrilled. There is still hope for modern horror films.

Check out the As Above, So Below trailer:

Classic Horror Movie Reviews from an Almost 13 Year-Old

Marilyn Eastman

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD review

[NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Arianna is the daughter of some friends of mine. She is almost 13 and a huge horror fan. She is also an aspiring author. I thought it might be interesting to get some input from the younger crowd, so I proposed a review series to Arianna. I asked her to watch a list of classic horror films, because I was really curious how older films would play to a younger crowd. Her first assignment was the 1968 zombie opus, Night of the Living Dead. I have said countless times that NOTLD is my very favorite horror film. I present to you her thoughts. This review has been edited only for spelling and grammar. Any hilarious factual errors regarding the film belong to Arianna. -TMW]

Night of the Living Dead movie posterI’ve recently watched an older film, by the name of  Night of the Living Dead. Now, this film was produced in the thirties, at the dawn of all entertainment in the form of television. When all of the zombie apocalypse things started, this movie was introduced to the public, and was considered terrifying.

However,  present day, if I must say so myself, we’ve seen worse. Much, much worse. They say that the AMC series, The Walking Dead, was inspired by this particular picture, but clearly The Walking Dead was most definitely updated.  Some prefer the black and white, silent, pick your poison, all relevant and ancient. I am very much so into various types of horror, including paranormal, possession, witches, psychopaths with knives, but deep in my obsession lies a special place for apocalyptic pleasures.

On a scale of 1-10, I enjoyed Night of the Living Dead at about a 2, if even. What gets me scared, grossed out, dizzy etc… is the cherry red color of fresh blood , or the rotting aging shade of old. Also guts, but the only way you could tell someone was a zombie in this movie was by the tears in their clothes.

Marilyn Eastman
Marilyn Eastman pulls double duty in Night of the Living Dead

Going deeper, there was a single woman who looked slightly gory, yet not enough to duel against more updated favorite films of mine. This amused me, but did not scare me in any way, shape, or form. I’m sure if I had never seen something like this before, I would have better things to say about it.  But I have, and this was a huge letdown. I found this on a top 25 scariest movies list at number 7. And I was like what?  But others have different opinions, and I am sure I disliked this highly due to my youth.

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the Night of the Living Dead trailer: