Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. It's the most intense, unpredictable and thrilling cinematic experience I've had the pleasure to squirm through in ages.
  2. The director of The Descent is savvy enough to suggest even more than he shows. And he's old-school enough to load up on glimpses of good, clean, gruesome gore.
  3. A nasty little tube of frozen horror concentrate.
  4. Neil Marshall's horrifically terrific The Descent cannily recasts 1972's "Deliverance" as a female-bonding thriller with some "Hills Have Eyes"-style mutant terror tossed in for truly harrowing effect.
  5. 88
    Though the film's downbeat ending was softened for U.S. release, it's still a long way from happy.
  6. The most exhilaratingly horrifying movie to come out in years.
  7. 83
    The Descent sustains a level of intensity that most horror films can barely muster for five minutes.
  8. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    80
    Brutal, bloody, terrifying, astonishing... And so tense it'll leave you aching. The most significant Brit chiller since "28 Days Later."
  9. 75
    Prepare to be scared senseless, and then, when you think you have it figured, your certainty will be shaken by scenes built to scare you even more.
  10. This is one of the scariest movies featuring female heroines since the "Alien" series, and what makes it uniquely scary is where these women are -- in tunnels two miles under ground -- when they realize they are not alone.
  11. 75
    Easily the summer's scariest movie.
  12. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    75
    Amid this unrelenting ferocity, Marshall gives his characters emotional depth, and elicits terrific performances from the cast.
  13. Marshall takes a modest budget and a concept that isn't all that original and produces a frightening, intelligent and sexy thriller.
  14. 75
    A cult classic is born.
  15. 75
    This one is a creepy white-knuckle excursion into horror, where even the "boo!" moments are so well developed that they cause a jolt.
  16. 75
    The Descent is bloody, disturbing, and genuinely frightening--you'll be very happy to leave that dark theater.
  17. For those who like their horror served straight up with no ironic chaser, The Descent is a tasty cup of torment.
  18. At the heart of the film, beyond the human/crawler conflict, is the suppressed tension between Sarah and Juno. That Marshall bothered to include such a fillip sets him apart from run-of-the-mill scaremongers; it makes me want to see what else he's done and will do.
  19. Reviewed by: Jeremy Knox
    70
    All in all, this is an accessible art house horror film whose trailer and premise do not do justice to the end result.
  20. 70
    While the women's battle with the cave creatures has fine jump-from-your-seat moments, it gradually becomes the same chase flick horror fans have seen dozens of times. OK, it's a darn good one in most respects.
  21. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    70
    In the great B tradition, Marshall gets a lot out of nothing.
  22. What follows is a sensationally entertaining escalation of frights, the kind that make you wiggle and squirm as you alternately laugh at your own gullibility and marvel at the filmmaker's cunning and craft.
  23. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    70
    The chills and spills keep comin' to agreeable effect in Brit-made scarefest The Descent.
  24. Marshall keeps the film lean and focused. He does have a nice taste for horror imagery.
  25. 67
    The Descent may not be everything you've heard, but man, it's also a lot of things you haven't.
  26. You either go for a movie like this or you don't. But though I didn't like it much, I've got to admit that The Descent is a nerve-jangler.
  27. 63
    Eventually, though, the monsters come out -- blind, snarling cave-dwellers, looking much like Gollum's bigger kin -- and The Descent becomes a simple exercise in guessing who, if anyone, will survive.
  28. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    It's made expressly for fans of unmitigated gore.
  29. 50
    Compulsively watchable, with its fair share of effective sledgehammer shocks; it just isn't very good.
  30. This intermittently effective UK horror thriller carefully establishes the psychological relationships among the women, then squanders this calibrated and generally plausible setup with a series of crude, implausible, and scattershot horror effects.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 284 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 133
  1. Jul 22, 2013
    10
    The Descent is extremely intense and unpredictable with a dark and original story. It is brutal and terrifying, with chilling action sequences, plus that you will remember the movie for sometime, it is a decent thriller that can be one of the scariest and best horror movies ever made. (The movie is not for anyone who have claustrophobia) Full Review »
  2. Sep 8, 2013
    8
    The descent is a smart original horror-action movie about six friends who go to explore an unknown cave somewhere in America. Everything is ok until they realize that in this cave some creatures live. And then the action starts. Before the appearance of the monsters it has suspense and in the beginning it is a thriller But it becomes a really good horror movie. It has scary moments, and suspense during the whole movie. You will be scared and you will enjoy it. Trust me. The ending was a little strange. I would like to watch the sequel just to see what will happen. I am really curious. In general the descent is a claustrophobic horror movie and I have to say that it is the first British horror movie that I watched and it was pretty good. Thumbs up! Full Review »
  3. Oct 1, 2011
    10
    The best horror movie ever !