The Descent is the freshest genre-busting movie I’ve seen in a long time: a chick flick/horror movie hybrid. Yes, it sounds ridiculous. But this is great entertainment, with a script tighter than a nun’s asshole. The story grips you from the first sequence, shakes your around for 90 minutes, and only then relaxes its grip. You’ll need a lorazepam when it’s over.
Sarah’s husband and daughter are killed in a freak accident. A year later, Sarah’s friends put together a spelunking vacation in the Appalachians–partly as a bonding experience, partly as rehabilitation for Sarah. Then they go down into the caves and all kinds of nasty shit happens.
Hold the Cheesecake
And even though you have six beautiful women squirming through caves and getting sweaty, the film doesn’t pander to the male audience members (or, more specifically, the male audience’s members): you’ll find no “Hey girls, why don’t we take a shower together!” scenes or panty shots or torn, wet North Face t-shirts straining against silicon-filled casabas.
This is probably the current version of the chick empowerment movie. Both my wife and I liked it. It’s not often you can find a chick flick where the female protagonist kills a baddie with the old thumbs-in-the-eyesockets trick. This ain’t no Devil Wears Prada. Forget Carrie, Samantha, and Jimmy Choo and enjoy some ice-axe-fu.
The Stupid Version
And if you want to see how the same basic premise can be done the stupid way, just see The Cave. This is what I feared The Descent would turn out to be. This is the version for the Maxim reader, I guess.