Certainly one of the most intriguing titles of recent years, As Above, So Below follows an obsessive young archeologist, Scarlett (Perdita Weeks), who recruits a team of treasure hunters to explore the catacombs beneath the streets of Paris, in search of an ancient artifact. But once inside the catacombs, known as the ‘City of the Dead’, not all is as it seems and a dark evil slumbers, just waiting to unleash horrifying evil upon the unsuspecting explorers.
*CAUTION* – May contain some unavoidable spoilers.
What’s good about the film?
The catacombs below Paris is a subject matter that is rarely touched upon in film, so it’s quite refreshing to be taken somewhere we may not necessarily have known much about, if at all. One of the major horror and suspense elements in the film is the claustrophobic setting; far below the surface in a series of tunnels and chambers that would make even the bravest of cave explorers nervous.
Directed and co-writer John Erick Dowdle, As Above, So Below delves into some incredibly well researched and engrossing subject matter that adds to the overall feel of the film, though at times you can’t help but picture the world’s most famous wizard. If you’ve seen the film you’ll know what I mean, if not, you surely will afterwards. There are also some great, heart-pounding and jump-in-your-seat worthy moments that keep you engrossed throughout.
What’s wrong about the film?
A massive down-point about the film is the storyline. As the great as the plot starts out, it somehow manages to get lost down in the catacombs, perhaps slightly ironic considering most of the story involves being lost underneath Paris.
The film has some fantastic historical elements that plays to it’s strengths at the beginning, with a National Treasure (2004) feel about it, mixed in with some horror similar to that of the British horror The Descent (2005), but by the end the story seems to have been completely forgotten about with no resolution for the audience – which unfortunately leaves you with a huge sense of disappointment and fulfillment.
For all intense purposes As Above, So Below grips you from the beginning, throwing you into heart-pounding suspense and horror, but unfortunately leaves you with too many unanswered questions that disconnects you from the characters at the end. Worth a watch though!