As Above, So Below: My New Favorite Horror Movie

Now, I was going to write about a couple slashers for the holiday season, but then I stumbled upon this film.

 

I’m a scaredy cat. It’s literally my Halloween-themed signature for these articles. But d*mn.

 

This movie was a MASTERPIECE.

 

I spent the entire movie terrified of what was going to hop out of the shadows in the catacombs under Paris. 

 

I also watched it twice on the same day. It was that good.

 

Now, I’m going to try to avoid spoilers until the very end and will give you another large warning before we get to the spoilers. So if you haven’t seen it, feel free to read until then (or continue to the spoilers I won’t judge).

 

This movie is filmed entirely in the “found footage” style, just like the Blair Witch Project.

 

This film is also packed with lore and Christian mythology, but the movie was easily understood by me as an atheist—although having a basic understanding of “Dante’s Inferno” definitely helped. 

 

The film starts out as a documentary about Scarlett, a young archeologist seeking the Philosopher’s Stone. Her search takes her to the catacombs in Paris with her videographer Benji, translator George, and guides Papillon, Zed and Souxie. Their journey into the catacombs slowly gets more intense, and the paranormal activity just gets stronger.

 

Overall Upsetting Factor: I’d give it about a 7/10 for the jump-scares, as well as everything below.

 

Gore: I’d give it a 7/10 for gore. A decent amount of blood, but not a ton besides that.

 

Monsters: If you look away at the exact times, you can miss most of them. Very quick, but still very upsetting. 7/10

 

Psychological: Honestly? The ending made me feel better about monsters in general. Very nice way to beat them. 2/10 spook factor.

 

Triggering Content: I mean, it’s a horror movie based on sins. It's going to have a couple sensitive topics, I’d recommend looking here. 8/10.

 

SPOILERS AHEAD!

napping cat Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash

 

ONE MORE SPOILER WARNING!

 

Courtesy of what2ver / Pixabay

 

My favorite parts:

 

  • They end up in hell. Like actual Hell. 

That just blew me away. The attention-to-detail surrounding the different circles of Hell and the existence of Limbo (evidenced by the fact that we know, for certain, La Taupe has been dead the entire time he’s been down there) right before they enter Hell is incredible.

 

  • Their deaths lined up with their sins. 

While we don’t know what Benji did, it is implied that a woman and infant were involved. Souxie’s regret was letting La Taupe disappear without looking for him. Papillon’s sin involved the car crash he got his scar in.

 

  • Through the ordeal, Scarlett is implied to have gained the ability to heal. 

 

  • The happy ending!

Half of the protagonists make it out of hell with the ability to move on with their lives. Their past trauma, at least, is dealt with. 

 

My least favorite parts:

 

  • We don’t get much information about Benji and Souxie. As the only Black person in the group, and the second woman, it was a bummer that they died so early on. 

 

  • There aren’t very clear circles of Hell, many of the demons and obstacles are inspired by the circles, but the only transition is between Limbo and Hell. 

 

  • I don’t think the remaining characters really have sins. Not picking up a phone call isn’t a sin, getting lost while trying to get help isn’t a sin, and not claiming a bastard child is only a little sucky. While all the characters regret them, I just feel like it wasn’t “sin-worthy.” Maybe the point was for all the characters to cast away their regrets to redeem themselves, but I was here for some more entertaining backstories.

 

Like I said, I watched this movie twice on Sunday, which tells you how much I enjoyed it. It’s a fun little horror movie for scaredy cats to watch. But, if you ever want to head to the catacombs, you might want to delay watching this until after your trip. 

 

If you survive…

 

XOXO, Scaredy Cat