James Stewart stars as a railroad man hired to secretly carry a payroll despite his suspected connections to outlaws
Six friends on a caving trip find themselves trapped underground - where they're not alone. Horror from Neil Marshall, writer-director of Dog Soldiers
Neil Marshall's 2002 debut feature film Dog Soldiers isolated a group of men in the back-country of Scotland where they fought for their lives against werewolves. His follow-up The Descent sticks to the same basic formula but inverts it somewhat -his protagonists are women, the setting is a cave system beneath the Appalachian mountains and the foes aren't werewolves - they're like a less civilised version of the orcs from The Lord Of The Rings.
So, claustrophobia - check. Scares - check. Gore - check. Cast picked off one by one - check. The Descent is very much by-the-numbers filmmaking, but it's built on a strong premise (comparable to 2005's other subterranean horror The Cave) that is highly effective, with striking imagery of pale creatures in the pitch blackness, caverns aglow from flares, and bloodied and bruised actresses lit by dwindling torches.
Other memorable touches include a 360-degree shot as one of the girls dangles from the ceiling of a cave, struggling with a creature, and the emergence of sort-of lead Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) from a pool of blood, looking like Martin Sheen's Willard as he rises from the river in Apocalypse Now, stony faced and determined.
There are no stand-out performances per se and it's not a sophisticated story but, like Dog Soldiers before it (and the ruling champs of the dying-off-one-by-one genre Alien and The Thing), it's compelling and exciting, the horrors of the cave brought to life with grim vigour.
There are inconsistencies and frustrating ambiguities, but this is another reliable, vigorous horror experience for genre fans.
Please wait while this video loads. If it doesn't load after a few seconds you may need to have Adobe Flash installed.
The Glasgow Film Festival programme is announced and features Film4-backed films Second Coming and Catch Me Daddy plus much, much more, from 18th February to 1st March It¿s almost time once more for
As Louise Osmond's inspirational documentary about an unlikely group of friends who breed themselves a racehorse is about to premiere at Sundance 2015, Catherine Bray catches up with the director for
Find out who voted for Film4.com's list of the top 100 must-see films of the 21st Century so far
A tooth-chattering voyage through the scariest movies ever made