Movie Review: As Above, So Below

Emily Chudzik, News Editor

The new horror movie “As Above, So Below,” falls short of it’s promise to be the “scariest movie you’ve seen in years.”

The plot of the film is unique, and begins quite promising. Scarlett (Perdita Weeks) is in search of the legendary Philosopher’s Stone, convinced it’s hidden in a secret, collapsed passage of the catacombs underneath Paris.

With the help of her camera-man, Benji (Edwin Hodge), old friend George (Ben Feldman) and French, urban explorers Papillon (Francois Civil), Souxie (Marion Lambert) and Zed (Ali Marhyar), they go into the restricted parts of the catacombs to look for the stone.

After that, some strange things happen. Strange, but not necessarily scary. There are a few “pop-out moments,” which will make unsuspecting viewers jump, but it’s nothing that will cause a nightmare. The abrupt and unsatisfying ending leaves the audience with something to be desired, leaving viewers with more questions than answers.

Furthermore, there is a lot of backstory for each character, especially Scarlett and George. While it certainly adds to the character’s dimension, it’s not explained very well and distracts from the main story at times. Some of their baggage manifests itself later while they are in “Hell,” which is interesting enough, but could have strictly been mentioned there instead of earlier in the film, where there was almost too much to take in.

Unfortunately, the movie is filmed from a hand-held camera in a documentary, found-footage style that is, at most times, shaky and difficult to watch. While it is an appropriate style for the particular plot, it is not exactly anything original. All it really manages to do is make viewers feel a bit dizzy.

Most of the actors are unknowns, but they do a pretty good job of portraying their character and the fear they experience while in the catacombs. Their performance is believable, a redeeming quality to this very average horror movie.

It may even be a stretch to put it in the genre of “horror.” It has some “scary” moments, but overall it is more of a thriller/mystery, with a few small elements of horror mixed in. It was a decent movie overall, but it may be a good idea to wait until it comes out on Netflix.