The Descent

I have not been to the theater in freaking forever. It sucks. I have things I plan to see, and then I fail or get delayed by events and circumstances. Like, there’s this intersection near my house that’s under construction, right? And it has a right turn lane separated from the main road by the triangular concrete embankment? Only, due to construction, that thing is currently doubling as a hole in the ground. As I was driving by it one day, I imagined that thing where your car is dangling over empty space and you can’t back up or go forward, and you’re all trapped and helpless? It was no good. Then, just a few days later it rains for the first time in, so far as I can remember, the history of Texas. Naturally, people can’t drive in rain, and as I’m going by the intersection, this young couple has lived out my premonition. And it’s raining, so of course I had to stop and help, ’cause that just sucks. Net result: car freed after there were four people helping, my lower back hurt for about 48 hours, and I accidentally tracked mud all over the carpet at my destination. If I’d been planning to go from that destination to see a movie, but had been prevented by the stopping to help and then the cleaning the carpet? This would have been a perfect example of my point.

So, yeah, events and circumstances. Maybe I’ll get caught up, but usually I fail to, which is why I hate to get behind. For instance, this weekend I saw a completely unrelated current movie instead of one of the two or three from the past few weeks. But, see, it was a horror movie, and if I don’t get to those right away, a) who will? and b) they might be pulled early due to poor numbers, in that people keep screwing me over by liking movies about gay cowboys eating pudding instead of teenage camp counselors being murdered by pudding. (Y’know, basically. Thematically.)

Thusly, I saw The Descent, a British movie; you can tell by all the British accents, and by how the bulk of the film in the Appalachians contained neither overalls nor banjos to any degree at all. After an opening scene fraught with both tension and tragedy, we pick back up a year later with our band of intrepid and extreme female adventurers meeting up to explore a cave system and bring their sisterhood closer together than ever before. Only, instead there’s a cave-in followed by the mysteries of the earth, which mostly include dire personal revelations punctuated by bloody murder. From, you know, human cannibals evolved to underground living over thousands of years. I mean, I complained about the lack of banjos, but I have to admit these people do understand the basic nature of the Appalachian region.

Take one small part The Cave, one small part Carrie, and stir it into a bowlful of How the Blair Witch Got Her Groove Back, and you have this movie here, about which I regret absolutely no part of my experience. Watch especially for the dramatic framing in the last several scenes, about from the point where our heroine Sarah steals River Tam’s pose at the end of Serenity until the very end. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m sure the director intended them to be serious moments of character growth and breakthrough instead of the sheer hilarity that they actually are, I think I could have a new best (film) friend.

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