November 25, 2014 As Above, So Below (Movie Review)
As Above, So Below is the latest Horror movie to be released by Universal Studios and Legendary Pictures on August 29th, 2014 in the United States. Written by Drew Dowdle (Quarantine 2008, Devil 2010) and John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine 2008, Devil 2010) who also directed, As Above, So Below is historically the phrase that is the key to all magic. It means a number of things; that which is inside me is outside of me, on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Scarlett Marlow (Perdita Weeks: The Tudors series, The Invisible Woman 2013) is a very bright girl with multiple Doctorates in different disciplines, a Professor at a renowned English University, and is hot on the trail of the Philosopher’s Stone, in the footsteps of her father, who ultimately killed himself. Scarlett finds the Rose Key in an underground tunnel on the Syrian border, despite the fact that the area is being bombed. Scarlett is accompanied by Benji (Edwin Hodge: Red Dawn 2012, The Purge: Anarchy 2014) who is documenting her trail for the stone. The Rose Key acts as a sort of Rosetta Stone in relation to locating the Philosopher’s Stone, but Ancient Aramaic is the only language Scarlett does not understand.
Scarlett is forced to beg for the help of George (Ben Feldman: Friday The 13th 2009, Mad Men series) a young man, with many skills, but how has gotten into trouble for helping Scarlett previously. Despite this, he agrees to help her translate the key stones, which lead them to the catacombs under Paris. They find a local tunnel guide, Papillon (Francois Civil: Frank 2014, Rosemary’s Baby 2014) who they convince to help them after they show him evidence of a secret tunnel in the catacombs not seen for six hundred years. Pallion, leads them to the entrance of ‘Barriere Denfer’ the entrance between Earth, Heaven and Hell as mentioned by Nicholas Farnell a man who also chased after the Philosophers Stone.
Their journey through the tunnels is fraught with danger from imminent collapse of the tunnels, to getting stuck in tight tunnels, to getting lost and going around in circles. The further they go down, the more evidence they find to support the existence of the stone, which is believed to heal, turn metal into gold and give eternal life. Scarlett’s father was reputed to have been sent crazy by his lifelong pursuit. Scarlett has inherited her father’s doggedness and sheer determination drives her to go deeper into the centre of the Earth to find what she has always dreamed of.
Not long into their journey they discover that if the Philosopher’s Stone is true, it is likely other aspects of history are true, like the location of hell. Scarlett’s treasure hunt pushes her, George, and Benji beyond their physical and mental capabilities, and not all of them will survive. Has Scarlett led her team to their brutal and torturous deaths, and will she suffer the same fate as her father? As above Down Below is one of the most innovative movies to come out in 2014. It has a intriguing and suspensful plot, with swift strong action, and a very creepy feel through the whole movie.
As Above, So Below is filmed as mostly second person point of view as George records Scarlett’s quest, but there are some scenes that are first person point of view and are incredibly well done. The viewer gets the feeling they are trapped in the dark with deep growling noises coming from nowhere around you, wondering if you will survive or be trapped in hell. The cinematography by Léo Hinstin in Paris at night time is gorgeous and gives the viewer a view of some of Paris’s famous sights, all the while providing more history and interest in the macabre catacombs and Paris’s dark secrets.
Excellently acted with a small cast who delve into their characters with gusto, which helps draw the viewer into their plight. As Above, So Below has enough blood and gore to suit most Horror fans, but also plenty of suspense and plot to suit Horror fans looking for a bit more… Plot. A definite contender in the Horror movie genre and a must watch. CrypticRock gives As Above, So Below 5 out of 5 stars.