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'As Above/So Below' spirals into the depths of absurdity

Enter the gates of hell in 'As Above/So Below'

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Legendary Pictures and Universal Studios’ motion picture ‘As Above/So Below’ opens in theaters August 29. The film written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle (‘Quarantine,’ ‘Devil’) and directed by John Erick Dowdle takes place amongst miles of twisting catacombs that lie beneath the streets of Paris, the eternal home to countless souls.

Scarlett (PERDITA WEEKS) and George (BEN FELDMAN) attempt to decipher ancient text in the twisting catacombs beneath the streets of Paris
Scarlett (PERDITA WEEKS) and George (BEN FELDMAN) attempt to decipher ancient text in the twisting catacombs beneath the streets of ParisUsed with permission. Photo Credit: Bruno Calvo. © 2014 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Beware the gates of hell.
Beware the gates of hell.Used with permission. Copyright: © 2014 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

When a team of explorers ventures into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead. A journey into madness and terror, ‘As Above/So Below’ reaches deep into the human psyche to reveal the personal demons that come back to haunt us all.

The cast includes Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, and Edwin Hodge along with Francois Civil, Marion Lambert, and Ali Marhyar.

The film attempts to reveal the mysteries of alchemy. It is believed that alchemy is a powerful metaphysical tradition whose loyal followers since ancient times have claimed it to be the predecessor to profound powers. Scarlett (Perdita Weeks) is obsessed with completing her late father’s work on the subject and travels worldwide (often in harm’s way) to discover the truth. She enlists her claustrophobic friend, George (Ben Feldman ), her camera man Benji (Edwin Hodge) and a band of urban explorers to search the catacombs to find this powerful source

But things do not go as planned and the treasure seekers find themselves hopelessly lost. In their quest to find their way out of the catacombs, the group encounters psychological disturbances tucked away in the walls and among the skulls that line the passage.

Travelling deeper and deeper, they descend to the gates of hell with the infamous inscription from ‘Dante’s Divine Comedy’ (a fourteenth-century allegorical poem,) ‘Abandon hope all ye who enter here.’ Sadly, this is a warning to us all as we are forced to endure this slow moving film with few surprises. In fact, the long drawn out plot is as twisty and winding as the perilous path within the catacombs. In fact, the story morphs into a take on grief and forgiveness while trying to tie the alchemy theory to self-healing. The result is a dull and monotonous film that uses gore as a stage prop to distract the audience from its lack of substance.

‘As Above/So Below’ is Rated R for bloody violence/terror, and language throughout. It has a run time of 93 minutes.