Thursday, November 20, 2014

As Above So Below in 250 Words or Less

The soft spot I have for found-footage horror movies is basically a bruise at this point, but I don't care, I will shout it out unto the indifferent to downright hostile world -- I'll take most all the crap this genre will fling my way and ask for more, it seems. (Even the scarring experience of the godawful Apollo 18 couldn't keep me away for long.) As Above So Below, the new one from The Brothers Dowdle (they were behind Poughkeepsie Tapes and the [REC] remake Quarantine), is just an endless string of silliness - it's Goonies versus The Blair Witch with the dust off an Indiana Jones skeleton shaken on top like powdered sugar - but who had fun? I had fun. 

It's basically a Vincent Price haunted house movie flipped upside down with oogie-boogies jumping at the screen at timed intervals and a plot written in fine-print that fades off towards the horizon, but by the time I got halfway through any groan I had the movie was already onto the next bout of sneaking spectres and it just wore down my reservations with its gee-whiz dumb-dumb enthusiasms. Oh sure by the end my questions were stacked as high as the Eiffel Tower, but logical sinkholes aside there really are a couple of finely rendered scare experiences up in this thing - images splayed in the underground fire-light, the cavernous dark, that just might just sneak into my next nightmare.


sissyinhwd said...

I was almost afraid to ask you about this but I liked it too. It's fun and dumb. I feel as if I'd seen the "tour guide" before.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Good sense of claustrophobia, I thought, especially in that one uninterrupted take where the camera guy gets stuck. GAH!

Glenn said...

The thing I like about found footage is the advantage is has in extracting realistic fear. This one, however, is one of the more egregious moments of "just leave the damned camera!" I can think of. And, naturally, when the black cameraman dies the person to pick the camera back up? The second black character. Sigh.

sissyinhwd said...

is this considered spelunking?

Anonymous said...

i liked this movie too. but i am sooooo tired of the found footage movie. why can't we just be a fly on the 4th wall like it was meant to be. "i'm gonna set my camera down down but guess what it will have a perfect view of my action without me setting up and checking the shot".

this genre is way past due. i can't remember the movie i saw recently but everyone was aiming their cellphone cameras oh yeah it was that "storm chasing" movie. every actor on set looked like they were part of the principal photography team. lol -todd