The story begins as the incredibly credentialed (two PhD’s and a Masters degree) yet amazingly young and exceptionally beautiful archaeologist Scarlett (Perdita Weeks) explains how her archaeology studies have brought her to a point where she needs to explore an area beneath the City of Paris. According to her studies there exists somewhere a little over three hundred feet below the surface of Paris a literal hell.
To reach this intended destination she determines that she must enter through the well known catacombs of Paris. By the way there really are catacombs underneath Paris. Scarlett has assembled abundant technical information and data but she needs someone who has actual experience in navigating their deep dark reality. So Scarlett and her friend and partner George (Ben Feldman) set out to find a qualified but clearly unofficial guide. They find the perfect man for the job. His street name is Papillon (Francois Civil); he has great knowledge of the catacombs and agrees to lead the party of approximately six people on their quest literally for hell on earth. Well under the earth’s surface actually. It is the journey that reveals the adventure and ultimately extreme and often very dark horror.
All movies except documentaries are, of course, fiction and the obvious level of that fiction tends to be most profound within the horror genre. Yet I found that “As Above, So Below” has a far greater level of believability for the most part than other movies in the horror genre. For me that aspect of the film makes it far more enjoyable and interesting than many other horror films.
Of course the story does become ever darker and much more terrifying as their adventure develops. And while there are some tragic deaths along the way the leaders ultimately do arrive back at the surface alive if fairly well beat up. It also has several similarities to a film I am privileged to be working on with two very talented men, Richard Greenwood Jr. and Collin Watts. That film, “The GRID” is also of the horror/thriller genre and also is set beneath the earth’s surface. My guess is that if you like “As Above, So Below” you will love “The GRID” mostly likely to be released in 2015.
No movie is perfect, not even the true classics or the Oscar winners. But “As Above, So Below” is in my opinion one of the best horror films to come along in a very long time. Its one big flaw to me was its constant use through out of the shaky and jerky hand held camera technique. I get it, such a technique is supposed to create a feel that is closer to reality. It is supposed to help draw the audience into the experience. Such a technique does have some merit but it was constant throughout the entire film and I found that element began to wear negatively on me.
One very cool technique I have never before seen used for promoting a movie before is that someone, apparently the production company, but someone has put together contest in association with the release of the film. The winner of the contest will receive two round trip airline tickets to Paris, France, a hotel room and $500.00 in walk around money. Now that is very cool. It is of course entirely up to you whether or not you visit the catacombs in Paris, but you may enter the contest by simply going to this website:
Copyright © 2014 Ron Irwin