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Quick Daily Review #107: As Above, So Below (2014)

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As Above, So Below (2014)

What do you get when you take bits of the Blair Witch Project, Raiders of the Lost Ark, National Treasure, and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, cram them into a giant blender and hit “puree”? This movie. The main character here is a female Indiana Jones type searching for the mystical “Philosopher’s Stone” which after quickly solving a few Da Vinci Code like riddles with the help of her fellow history buff friend (who illegally repairs ancient clock towers in his down time) she discovers is located within a secret five hundred year old compartment down in the Catacombs of Paris. The duo then enlists the help of some local Catacomb experts who have their own secret entrance into the tunnels. They also provide extra bodies for the carnage that ensues when they accidentally stumble into the very pit of their own personalized hell that, ala Bogus Journey, takes the most painful and personal memories from each of them to torture and occasionally kill them with.

This is a story, and a movie with a lot of different moving parts. Some of it I found rather effective, such as I actually did like the two main protagonists here. Other stuff was not so effective, such as the attempted marriage of the found footage genre into the pulp horror genre. Some stories lend themselves very well to a found footage style of filming, others do not. This film is a clear example of one that does not. The location, the Paris catacombs, is inspired, and the premise and back story is also quite interesting, but the delivery method here just waters everything down. With a more traditional approach here we could have had stunning cinematography to help tell a very spooky story happening in an intriguing environment, but instead what we get is yet more shaky cam nonsense that takes a very expensive movie and makes it look like a high school film project.

2stars

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About William McPherson (382 Articles)
Professional freelance writer, who also writes blogs, reviews, and assorted nonsense at www.vortexeffect.net

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