“As Above So Below” Delivers Fair Creep Factor

As Above So Below is a found footage genre horror flick released by Universal Studios that runs an easy one hour 33 minutes. It’s set in modern day Paris with the central theme of two archaeologists who end up fighting for survival in the restricted area of the Catacombs in search of the mythical Philosopher’s Stone.

This movie has a sexy cast and satisfying vignettes of Paris and its monuments. Scarlett and George are the two main characters. After the reluctant, intelligent and cautious George deciphers an ancient text, he and the uber protagonist Scarlett (trained in Kava Manga martial arts, two PHD’s, fluent in four languages and two dead ones) co-exist with a teensy bit of chemistry as they drag documentary filmmaker Benji into the search. The three meet Papillion (catacombic expert), and his entourage Souxie, and La Toupe in an ultra-modern rave club in the darker part of the city.

Scarlett and her charges make their descent into the city of the dead via foot and filmed with a seriously shaky hand. So, be ready, the camera work isn’t for those prone to motion sickness or vertigo. The film is mostly shot using GO-PRO headcams. There are moments of stationary shooting that give the viewer a teensy visual break. With that said, I enjoyed the wobbly first person perspective of the instability.

The creep factor is fair.  The blood and gore factor is better. Both make spotty appearances. Bring your healthy imagination and inclination toward suspense: They are necessary. That the movie was actually shot IN the Catacombs is spectacular. When the crew crawls over and through piles of bones your skin will do the same.

AASB moves slowly and left me wanting a little more action and more surprises. A nice twist comes as evil supernatural forces direct the spelunkers into Hell. I found myself thinking “hmmm” a lot. And then, the characters explain. I found that cheesy. I will not divulge key cheese, no spoilers here.  Sorry.

The story is kind of like the movie “Groundhog Day” with a bloody twist and yes, it delivers and finishes beautifully. There is an undercurrent of redemption to key in on.  The kill-offs are original and the low-budget flick uses only a smidge of CGI. The ending is succinct. If you like “Indiana Jones” and “The Blair Witch Project” you will enjoy this film.

I look for more films by the brothers’ Drew (they wrote and directed the film).  

As Above So Below is showing locally in Martinsburg at The Berkeley Plaza 7 (cheap tix) and the Regal Martinsburg Stadium 10. It is showing in Hagerstown at The Regal Valley Mall Stadium 6.

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