Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
For the better part of the last millennium the Western World has built itself upon a binary belief, that there is that which is good and that which is evil. This can be seen throughout all aspects of our culture, from the theological to the typical. It furthermore permeates throughout every plot point of As Above/So Below.
As the latest offering from John Erick Dowdle, the Film follows in the aesthetic footsteps of his Documentary-Horror Flicks that came before it, (e.g. Quarantine and The Poughkeepsie Tapes). It takes Scarlett (Perdita Weeks), a present day Indiana Jones, into the infamous catacombs of Paris. She takes with her a Friend, a Filmmaker, and an adventurous Trio familiar with the underground maze.
There the Grup traverses a treacherous path. A path shaped by the celebrated aspects of the occult, (e.g. alchemy, the crusaders, and the writings of Dante Alighieri). It’s a mish-mash of ideas no doubt, but it works well enough to provide the Characters with drama, trauma, and the motivation to overcome it all at any cost.
The scares are there, and the fear is palpable thanks to some strong sonic strokes and eerie and enclosed surroundings. Add to that rivers of blood, piles of bones, and a ravenous brood of ritualistic chimeras. Ultimately it equates to a slice of Summer Horror unlike the Teen Slashers of yesteryear. Thus if you’re looking for a little evil after the sun goes down, this flick has it in droves.
Universal Pictures Canada release AS ABOVE/SO BELOW on Friday, August 29, 2014.
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