Night #14: As Above, So Below (2014)

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Directed By: John Erik Dowdle

As above, so below. As I believe the world to be, so it is.”

I forgot I had covered this one before. It’s what happens sometimes. I remember digging it then and I dig it now. In the whole ‘found-footage’ genre or whatever we want to call it, I always thought that this one was underrated and rarely mentioned.

Religiously-themed movies like this are fairly hard to come by unless they’re specifically satanic as with something like The Last Exorcism. Satanism, despite the fact no one really worries that Satanists are a thing anymore, is still a hot topic. But something that swings the other way? That’s a little rarer.

I don’t know how much of the mythology the movie espouses is factual or not, but it had me interested in finding out. Imagine something like Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade but a little more horrific and you would be on the right track. Basically, the search for the Philosophers Stone (Which Harry Potter has now ruined for Google searches) leads a group down into the Paris catacombs, in which they end up in a version of Dante’s Inferno.

One thing I admired more in hindsight is how the movie doesn’t hit you over the head with that fact. Where they see the inscription “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” I expected someone to exclaim where it was from. Thankfully though, no one does. And really, no one needs to. I think the movie is pretty clear about what is going on without someone stopping to tell you. It’s also not afraid to get a little goofy, which is always the way to my heart. Any movie where you can defeat other wordly creatures by just giving them a good shove is alright by me.

On that note, it moves along at a pretty swift pace so that the 90 minute running time flies by. The only problem I would have is that the last twenty minutes or so clip by a little too fast and at times feel like someone is skipping chunks of the movie just to make it to the end. There is, of course, no real reason for this to be found-footage either. I never really like complaining about these things but it became more glaring to me this time around. There’s the flimsy idea that the main character is having a documentary made about her but that’s all it is. The worst thing is that a lot of these movies end up being so well shot that it doesn’t feel like found-footage at all.

Ah but this is all just silly criticisms I think and it’s not enough to hamper any enjoyment to be had. It’s a good movie with some genuinely creepy and effective moments. Highly recommended.

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