On the heels of Geoffrey Macnab’s piece in the Guardian last week heralding that "British horror is making a comeback" (apparently, the Cannes market was flooded with low-budget Brit horror flicks), the big buzz film the article was pegged to is getting good-to-great reviews in all the UK papers. Director Neil Marshall has described "The Descent," as "‘Deliverance’ goes underground" â€” the film follows a group of six women who go caving in the Appalachians, only to get trapped by a cave-in and find themselves continuing lower and lower as they search for a new pathway out. The claustrophobe in us is already feeling lightheaded from this premise, so the apparent later appearance of eyeless humanoid monsters might be a touch superfluous, but is also, by all accounts, equally frightening.
Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian: It’s got its silly moments, and there are sometimes more plot-holes than pot-holes, but writer-director Neil Marshall carries it off with a punky flair and keeps the yeecch factor cranked up high.
Nicholas Barber in the Independent (which seems to be free again): [W]hy aren’t there more horror movies set in underground cave systems?
Tim Robey in the Telegraph: [F]orget the backstory. Forget the barely functional script. This is an exercise in claustrophobia and primal dread, and, when heroine Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) finds herself wedged into a tunnel barely wider than she is, Marshall goes close in with the camera and has his audience squirming exactly where he wants them.
Mark Kermode in the Observer: [O]ne of the best British horror films of recent years.
James Christopher in the London Times: It’s embarrassing to admit this, but I spent half the film with a finger in my left ear and a hand in front of my eyes.
No US distro yet, but cheap, gory horror flicks never have a problem with that.