This may sound like obvious advice, but when it comes to the world of horror films, it apparently needs to be repeated: don’t go into places filled with dead bodies. Don’t go into cemeteries. Don’t go into catacombs. Don’t go into morgues. Don’t do it. Especially don’t do it “for science” and armed with only a camera.
That said, here’s another horror film about people going into places filled with dead bodies – for science! – armed only with a camera or two. And, considering how weird and chilling and unique As Above, So Below looks just from this first trailer, perhaps we can relax those hard and fast rules. (Except in real life, don’t do this stuff in real life.)
In As Above, So Below, a group of “urban archeologists” decide to descend into Paris’ famed catacombs in search of, well, it’s never quite clear, but it seems to be something that vaguely ties into all of human history. So, nothing major, really! What the group finds below the surface of the city appears to be terrifying from the get-go: there are great stacks of bones everywhere, spaces so claustrophobic that it’s a wonder anyone can fit into them, and the unshakable sense that there’s no map in existence that could make sense of all the geographical twists and turns.
Basically, it’s already scary down there. And then the truly scary stuff starts happening. Take a look at the film’s first trailer:
Great, it’s Hell. They’ve gone into Hell. Super.
As Above, So Below was written by Drew Dowdle and John Erick Dowdle, with the latter Dowdle brother also taking on directorial duties. The Dowdle dudes are reasonably well known for their other horror outings like Devil and Quarantine, both of which exhibited some nifty technique and some cool twists, so their latest film is coming from a solid enough horror pedigree.
The pair are also working on another film – The Coup – which is intriguingly classified as a thriller, not a horror film, and centers on a family caught in the middle of an extremely violent government coup soon after moving to a new country. While As Above, So Below has a cast made up of mostly unknowns, The Coup features stars like Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan, so it sure sounds like the Dowdles are just about to make a big leap in their work – meaning that As Above, So Below could potentially be their last true “horror” feature for some time.
Luckily enough, it looks terrifying.
As Above, So Below will open on August 15.
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