The Descent
The Descent


The Story: Six girlfriends get more than they bargained for when they decide that their annual adventure holiday will involve a spot of caving - and we don't mean chipped nails. Neil Marshall's follow-up to Dog Soldiers is a bloody and gory affair, with UK critics almost unanimous in calling it one of the best British horror movies in years. The actresses playing the "chicks with pics" are Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, MyAnna Buring, Saskia Mulder, and Nora-Jane Noone.
UK Box Office: £2.698 million (as at 6th September 2005)
Useless Fact: Neil Marshall only discovered that Shauna Macdonald was really claustrophobic on a pre-shoot training expedition in the Peak District.


video  WATCH: Director Neil Marshall talks about the challenges of making The Descent and casting chicks with picks

video  WATCH: Neil discusses why he wanted to make an 18 certificate horror movie, and the gruelling shoot


Positive reviews

BBC Movies "Plays like Aliens meets Deliverance, with the action bloody, brutal and relentless" (4/5)

Empire "Brutal, bloody, terrifying, astonishing... And so tense it'll leave you aching" (5/5)

The Spinning Image "This is one of the strongest British horror flicks for some time, and unlike Dog Soldiers doesn't undermine the scares with ill-placed humour"

Film 247 "There are lots of jumpy moments in the film but they're not as clichéd as Hollywood films"

The Times "The power of Marshall's film is how fear loosens both senses and loyalties. The chills are old-fashioned, the production values are terrific" (4/5)

The Times "Compelling and exciting... the horrors of the cave are brought to life with grim vigour"

Film Exposed "Wrings out every ounce of tension and is high on scare factor. Recommended"

Film Focus "Far too gory for any but the very strongest of stomachs, this is nonetheless intelligent and well constructed horror fare" (72%)

Future Movies "One of the best British horror films ever. In fact, it's one of the best British films, period"

High Angle "A terrifying, unrelenting journey through horror and out the other side"

Radio Times "This cleverly produced chill-ride is edgy British horror at its very best" (4/5)

Shadows On The Wall "Almost unbearably tense and claustrophobic, and Marshall cleverly sets us up for maximum joltage even if the film struggles to relate with us" (3.5/5)

Sky Movies "British horror doesn't come much better than this nerve-shredding, spine-snapping gorefest" (4/5)

Time Out "This fiercely entertaining British horror movie has blood, guts and brains" (4/5)

Guardian "Neil Marshall carries it off with a punky flair and keeps the yeecch factor cranked up high" (3/5)

Independent "It's very strong meat, but if you're in the mood for a sadomasochistic thrill-ride you couldn't do much better than this"

My Movies "Marshall certainly has an eye for horror and The Descent does nothing to harm his growing reputation"

Daily Telegraph "This is the strongest, most bloodily intense British horror movie since 28 Days Later"

Observer "I jumped, I gasped, I winced, I cringed and, for lengthy periods, I simply held my breath"

Mixed reviews

Mirror "There's not an original thought here with endless cut and pastes from better shockers such as Carrie and Aliens" (3/5)


Official site The Descent
Official site

Channel 4 "This goes straight for the throat"
Neil Marshall interview

Guardian Fright Club
Resurgence of British horror article

Film Focus "A lot of bonds were formed"
Neil Marshall interview

Empire "It's going to be pretty intense stuff"
Neil Marshall interview

IO Film "I'm genuinely scared of the dark"
Shauna Macdonald interview

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites
In Cinemas Now homepage