As Above, So Below (2014)

As Above, So Below Poster.jpgRaiders of the Lost Catacomb

Director: John Erick Dowdle
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Starring: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, François Civil

Underneath Paris lies catacombs which contain over six million dead bodies, including the cities own founders, and it is here that the setting is used for the latest flick from Legendary Pictures. Scarlett Marlowe (Weeks) is intent on finding the Philosophers Stone, to prove that her fathers search for it was not the ravings of a mad man. She gathers a group of explorers as they set off on an adventure to find the fabled Stone, all while being recorded, but things take a dark turn as they enter what appears to be the gates of hell.

Credit must be given to director John Erick Dowdle, as he manages to utilize the morbid setting to a great effect, which lends the way to some genuinely creepy moments that occur throughout. There is one notable scene where Edwin Hodge gives a very realistic performance in terror, to an entirely frightening and discomforting effect.

The group begin their adventure

It should be mentioned that Scarlett is a well written and fleshed out character, particularly since that can be said of none of the other characters. The remaining characters lack anything that can be regarded as proper development, especially in regards to their personal demons which are teased throughout, but rarely elaborated on. As such, they remain little more than cardboard cut-outs, which is a fault that lies in a script packed with moments of disbelief.

As Above, So Below fails to maintain the creeping moments of dread which rarely occur, and the courtesy to extend well written, fleshed out character development to more than just the lead character.