User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 350 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 25 out of 350
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  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)
  2. Oct 1, 2011
    10
    The best horror movie ever !
  3. Mar 16, 2013
    9
    CAVING! NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NOT EVER!!!!!!! This movie has guaranteed I'm a surface dweller for life! I'm a tough character, not easily daunted, but several fear inducing facets contained within this film had me frozen in wide-eyed terror! Watch it and see if I'm wrong...
  4. Jan 28, 2013
    9
    Solid Horror film from the UK and one of my personal favs, but it's fails to get the high score due to somewhat of a sloppy ending. Great all-female cast head deep into a cave system and get stalked by 'crawlers', and it makes for one hell of a Horror film that would freak anyone out! There is also some great character development, especially with the leads Sarah & Juno. Overall I highlySolid Horror film from the UK and one of my personal favs, but it's fails to get the high score due to somewhat of a sloppy ending. Great all-female cast head deep into a cave system and get stalked by 'crawlers', and it makes for one hell of a Horror film that would freak anyone out! There is also some great character development, especially with the leads Sarah & Juno. Overall I highly enjoyed it and have seen it quite a few times now, and would certainly recommend it to Horror buffs! Expand
  5. Sep 2, 2014
    10
    "The Descent" is possibly the scariest movie ever made, and it's one of the best horror movies of the 2000's, and, possibly, of all time. It's unpredictable, intense, enjoyable, and extremely original. It perfectly combines jump scares with pure tension. I give it my highest recommendation.
  6. AnneN.
    Dec 6, 2007
    9
    brilliant and original film, bit of a crap ending though
  7. IanReyP
    Apr 9, 2008
    10
    Anybody who does not like this movie will never like any horror movie at all! It's just one of the best horror movies done! A simple story but very innovative idea!
  8. RandyM.
    Aug 15, 2008
    9
    While this shockingly chilling horror movie might not appeal to everyone, those who do happen to find appeal in it will be utterly terrified by the fresh breath that Neil Marshall breathes into a much recycled horror genre. The subtle bits and pieces that he places within the film are nothing short of brilliant.
  9. ScottN
    Jun 7, 2009
    9
    Definitely one of the more effectively-creep horror movies to come out in the theatres in the past several years IMO. In fact, I think this movie could have been just as scary (or even moreso) without the blind, flesh-eating creatures. The first 45 minutes of the movie before the creatures start showing up will really get you going, especially for any of you clostrophobes out there. To Definitely one of the more effectively-creep horror movies to come out in the theatres in the past several years IMO. In fact, I think this movie could have been just as scary (or even moreso) without the blind, flesh-eating creatures. The first 45 minutes of the movie before the creatures start showing up will really get you going, especially for any of you clostrophobes out there. To me, the simple situation of finding yourselves in a cave system and not knowing if you will be able to ever find your way out is even scarier than when the blood and gore starts to flow.. But regardless, a very well done movie that is sure to give you the willies. My only complaint is about the so cliche "fooled ya!" type of ending that has been so over done.. Either let the girl escape or don't, but don't do the old "ok, that didn't really happen" thing. Please. But that didn't ruin the movie - I still highly recommend watching it at least once. Expand
  10. SteveG
    Nov 29, 2005
    9
    Great stuff. Claustraphobic, tense and dark horror....and thats even before it kicks in as a horror film. Unknown cast excell and add to the unpredictability of the whole film. Lit only by the headlamps and glowsticks this really creates genuine shocks and one stand out jump that had me splilling my popcorn.
  11. Ken-StianP.
    Dec 2, 2005
    9
    Bloody brilliant! Excuse the pun. But this film had me shivering from the get-go. Good job, Mr. Marshall!
  12. JonathanB
    Dec 8, 2005
    9
    Scary, dark and tightly scripted. There's surprises, twists and some truly nasty horror moments. Another great film from brit director Neil Marshall.
  13. charlyp
    Dec 9, 2005
    9
    Magnifico ejercicio de estilo y de terror claustrofóbico. Filmada con excelente pulso y bien interpretada. Abstengase gente impresionable...asusta de verdad y no se corta con las secuencias violentas. Un festín para cualquier amante del buen cine de terror....algunos deberían aprender y saber que es lo que nunca debieron hacer el último verano.
  14. ChristianC.
    Dec 14, 2005
    10
    Easily the best horror movie of 2005 and the best British movie since Shaun Of The Dead. Scarier and darker than anything produced by the US in over a decade. Hollywood take note - this is how horror should be.
  15. BenA.
    Dec 27, 2005
    10
    Absolutely brilliant. Tons of gore, great acting, great story...great everything! Top notch movie, highly recommended. Get ready to be scared!
  16. DanielK.
    Feb 12, 2006
    10
    Der beste Horrorfilm seit langer Zeit, ohne Teenager und ohne Happy End. Gott sei Dank bin ich nicht klaustrophobisch, diese Enge würde mich sonst verrückt machen. Kann diesen Film jedem Horror-Fan empfehlen.
  17. KevinE.
    Apr 21, 2006
    9
    the strongest creature feature in years, good acting, well directed, excellent cinematography, makes a fool out of the cave. If this is your kind of movie, it's a must see.
  18. BértilR.
    May 26, 2006
    10
    The best horror movie I've seen in many years, its really does his works.
  19. OliverD.
    Jun 15, 2006
    9
    Most effective horror movie in years! Neil Marshall does a brilliant job delivering on almost all human primal fears. Razor sharp technique and earie set design paared with good acting and frightening sound effects make for the most frightening movie I have seen in many years.
  20. RobertK.
    Jun 20, 2006
    10
    The best horror movie in a long, long time, and especially for 2005/2006. You don't want to miss this one, especially if you can see it in the theaters.
  21. JoeC.
    Jun 23, 2006
    9
    Relentless. Grim. The best horror movie of the last 15 years.
  22. RachelR.
    Jul 21, 2006
    10
    Saw this film at the LA Film Festival and actually levitated out of my seat. I think the screams from the audience could have been heard all the way to San Francisco. I'm not usually a fan of horror movies, but this is the best movie I've seen all year.
  23. PabloF.
    Jul 26, 2006
    9
    It's one of the best pictures of horror that i can see in a long time.
  24. RikJ.
    Jul 28, 2006
    9
    Great horror flick ! I had no clue for the first 45 minutes that it was anything but a well-done indie drama about loss and bonding. Man, was I wrong! Very well directed, shot and lit. Hope it comes to the US so I can see it on the big screen!
  25. SamS.
    Jul 30, 2006
    10
    Brilliant and terryfying. Great plot, suspenceful until the last twist. Excellent classic.
  26. SashaO.
    Jul 30, 2006
    10
    I left this movie crying and trebling. I must say i was truely disturbed and effected. I would not recomend seeing it. I have sat through most horror films without a twitch, always knowing what to expect and almost NEVER getting scared. But this time, the suprises were endless and the horror was so real that i wet myself. It makes the Texas Chainsaw Massacure look like Barney and The Ring I left this movie crying and trebling. I must say i was truely disturbed and effected. I would not recomend seeing it. I have sat through most horror films without a twitch, always knowing what to expect and almost NEVER getting scared. But this time, the suprises were endless and the horror was so real that i wet myself. It makes the Texas Chainsaw Massacure look like Barney and The Ring look like Peter Pan. The scariest movie of all time. More so then the Evil Dead. Absoultly terrifying. Expand
  27. BobB.
    Jul 30, 2006
    10
    I had my eyes closed half of the movie. Absolusly terryifying. Perfect beggining. Amazing ending. I would see it 100 times more.
  28. BittyR.
    Jul 30, 2006
    10
    Supurb acting and amazing horror. great twists and great director. well done, well lit and really smart plot. instant classic.
  29. BittyR.
    Jul 30, 2006
    10
    Supurb acting and amazing horror. great twists and great director. well done, well lit and really smart plot. instant classic.
  30. BittyR.
    Jul 30, 2006
    10
    Supurb acting and amazing horror. great twists and great director. well done, well lit and really smart plot. instant classic.
  31. BittyR.
    Jul 30, 2006
    10
    Supurb acting and amazing horror. great twists and great director. well done, well lit and really smart plot. instant classic.
  32. BittyR.
    Jul 30, 2006
    10
    Supurb acting and amazing horror. great twists and great director. well done, well lit and really smart plot. instant classic.
  33. BittyR.
    Jul 30, 2006
    10
    Supurb acting and amazing horror. great twists and great director. well done, well lit and really smart plot. instant classic.
  34. BittyR.
    Jul 30, 2006
    10
    Supurb acting and amazing horror. great twists and great director. well done, well lit and really smart plot. instant classic.
  35. BittyR.
    Jul 30, 2006
    10
    Supurb acting and amazing horror. great twists and great director. well done, well lit and really smart plot. instant classic.
  36. BittyR.
    Jul 30, 2006
    10
    Supurb acting and amazing horror. great twists and great director. well done, well lit and really smart plot. instant classic.
  37. BittyR.
    Jul 30, 2006
    10
    Supurb acting and amazing horror. great twists and great director. well done, well lit and really smart plot. instant classic.
  38. BittyR.
    Jul 30, 2006
    10
    Supurb acting and amazing horror. great twists and great director. well done, well lit and really smart plot. instant classic.
  39. MarkS.
    Aug 1, 2006
    10
    Easily the best horror film of 2005. Potentially the best horror film of the last 10 years. Anyone who compares it to The Cave needs to be sectioned. This is superior fare.
  40. [Anonymous]
    Aug 3, 2006
    10
    Classic artwork...brilliant like no other horor film of the past 20 years. Absolutely breathtaking.
  41. MichaelL.
    Aug 5, 2006
    9
    Scariest film I've seen in a long while. Yes, it's derivative, and yes, it's flawed. But, it's well acted, well directed, and creepy as hell. Personally, I feel the gore factor got a bit absurd near the end--excess is not always a good thing. It became desensitizing. But all in all, a welcome relief from Japanese-based "poor little girl was mistreated by her Mommy so Scariest film I've seen in a long while. Yes, it's derivative, and yes, it's flawed. But, it's well acted, well directed, and creepy as hell. Personally, I feel the gore factor got a bit absurd near the end--excess is not always a good thing. It became desensitizing. But all in all, a welcome relief from Japanese-based "poor little girl was mistreated by her Mommy so now she's back to kill everyone" tedium. Let's hear it for strong women. And endings that aren't Hollywood happy. (My knees are still shaking...) Expand
  42. DrewF.
    Aug 5, 2006
    9
    Tremendous horror effort. One of the best films i've seen this year PERIOD. The altered ending doesn't change THAT much (both endings are [spoiler omitted] in my opinion), but i do slightly prefer the original ending. Brings everything full-circle.
  43. DaveB.
    Aug 6, 2006
    10
    Scary as hell. This movie makes Saw 2 and The Hills Have Eyes (newer version) look like Captain Kangaroo. Honestly very chilling and extremely gory. Anybody that compares this movie to The Cave (worst movie I've seen lately) needs their head examined. If you are a fan of horror movies go see this flick....an awesome feast of blood and gore.
  44. KellyA.
    Aug 7, 2006
    10
    Loved it. I'd heard from friends who had gone to see it on friday that it was scary as hell, and they were right! Great to see a horror film with strong, capable women who can act.
  45. DorsetJD
    Aug 7, 2006
    9
    Great pace - not too dark - watch -enjoy - jump !
  46. JoshW.
    Aug 7, 2006
    10
    This movie did it all right. It's really rare that a horror movie delivers great scares, let alone great cinematography, acting, story, etc..
  47. Ross
    Aug 7, 2006
    9
    This movie acheives sustained tension, and is extremely convincing. Even BEFORE the creatures of the latter half of this movie appeared, it kept me on the edge of my seat. More a "survival thriller" than a horror movie, this was certainly well made. Check it out if you like this genre.
  48. HarryP.
    Aug 9, 2006
    10
    The first genuinely scary - and I mean scary - movie in more than a decade. Take Pampers.
  49. JLight
    Aug 9, 2006
    9
    [***SPOILER***] I don't see how true horror fans couldn't get anything but a thrill out of this movie. Someone mentioned that the camera work is jarring and that the gore doesn't last long. It's this "jarring" and fleeting image work that makes this film riveting. Besides, I don't need to see the creatures devouring someone's stomach while they are still alive[***SPOILER***] I don't see how true horror fans couldn't get anything but a thrill out of this movie. Someone mentioned that the camera work is jarring and that the gore doesn't last long. It's this "jarring" and fleeting image work that makes this film riveting. Besides, I don't need to see the creatures devouring someone's stomach while they are still alive for 20 seconds. The creatures MAY resemble Golum in some way but, really, they don't. What you have here is a well-acted, well-constructed, well-executed horror film. Strongly atmospheric with several phenomenal scares that even caught me, and I consider myself a pretty stalwart guy, by surprise. It's truly a must see...ESPECIALLY in theaters. Expand
  50. Mase
    Aug 9, 2006
    10
    Not only one of the best horror movies of the last 10 years but one of the best movies of the year!! Truly gets everything right, chills, gore, acting, suspense. A movie fan especially a horror movie fan couldnt ask for more. Most importantly we get strong female characters you actually care about which makes what happens all the more horrifying!! GO SEE!!
  51. BobW.
    Aug 12, 2006
    9
    The claustrophobics will be fine by the second half but those with weak stomachs or hearts may not.
  52. Marquis
    Aug 12, 2006
    10
    scared the .... out of me! I think my niece will have nightmares for the next two weeks now.
  53. JohnB.
    Aug 13, 2006
    10
    Having 6 female characters and not one guy join them is a very daring move that I really appreciated in this movie. It proves to me that you don't need a tough guy in the film to bring all the action, adventure, and violence of a good horror flick. The movie did all the right things and rarely bored you. The Descent is as daring a movie in its originality as it is an old school Having 6 female characters and not one guy join them is a very daring move that I really appreciated in this movie. It proves to me that you don't need a tough guy in the film to bring all the action, adventure, and violence of a good horror flick. The movie did all the right things and rarely bored you. The Descent is as daring a movie in its originality as it is an old school thriller that keeps to a good standard for the horror fans. The first truly thrilling and scary movie I have seen. It is definitely worth seeing and is recommended to see on the big screen compared to a rental. Expand
  54. ClintM.
    Aug 15, 2006
    9
    completely horrifying to me ... you feel the suffocation the cavers experience early on in the movie and then the crazy crawlers start coming out and the rest is basically you holding your breath until the final scene.
  55. ColinM.
    Aug 25, 2006
    10
    Easily the best horror movie in many years. Very interesting dynamics between the characters and some truly frightening sequences that combine four primal human fears: heights, enclosed spaces, monsters, and the dark. Highly recommended.
  56. RobE
    Sep 13, 2006
    10
    The horror / chiller genre is my favorite, and although I am no so called 'expert' I do like to think I know when I have seen a good movie and not just a scary one. When I first started to watch this film I thought it was just going to be another usual run of the mill horror/chase film. I was so, so wrong. This has to be one if not the best horror I have seen ever. Very, very The horror / chiller genre is my favorite, and although I am no so called 'expert' I do like to think I know when I have seen a good movie and not just a scary one. When I first started to watch this film I thought it was just going to be another usual run of the mill horror/chase film. I was so, so wrong. This has to be one if not the best horror I have seen ever. Very, very few films get me jumping in any way but this one did, that is one sign a horror has worked. Secondly it was not mindless. The character set up in the film was first class. Ok it was probably no 'Oscar' performance, but for a horror? It was the best you will see in many horror films. You actually felt something for the characters and wanted them to get to safety which is not always the case in a horror. Yes, I did hear the US ending to the film was rubbish, so I am glad I live in the UK. If you Expand
  57. Rashid
    Sep 19, 2006
    9
    I enjoyed it so much. I am the fan of horror films but I was disappointed because in recent year no horror film could make me feel frightened until I saw this movie last month.
  58. andyw.
    Dec 26, 2006
    9
    I actually saw this a long time ago and the fact that I remember most of this genuinely terrifying film speaks for itself - especially in this current climate of instantly forgettable totally unoriginal 'horror' films. At a guess I would have to say those who claim this film to be 'boring' may well be a bunch of sugar-addicted 12-year-olds who require explosions and/or I actually saw this a long time ago and the fact that I remember most of this genuinely terrifying film speaks for itself - especially in this current climate of instantly forgettable totally unoriginal 'horror' films. At a guess I would have to say those who claim this film to be 'boring' may well be a bunch of sugar-addicted 12-year-olds who require explosions and/or gratuitous nudity every 5 minutes in order to hold their feeble attention spans. This film works because of the constant cranking up of the tension not because of constant bangs and flashes. Expand
  59. BB
    Dec 26, 2006
    9
    Considering how awful this year was for horror.... This movie makes up for it. Best horror movie of 2006.
  60. CoryH
    Dec 26, 2006
    10
    This is my definition of a horror flick. It gives you time to care about the characters. It gives you time to care about their situation. It makes you want to know what's going to happen next. I see a lot of negative reviews from people that find the opening hour boring. I'll be these are the same people that LOVE The Thing, The Exorcist, or Alien. In all three of the above This is my definition of a horror flick. It gives you time to care about the characters. It gives you time to care about their situation. It makes you want to know what's going to happen next. I see a lot of negative reviews from people that find the opening hour boring. I'll be these are the same people that LOVE The Thing, The Exorcist, or Alien. In all three of the above mentioned movies, nothing REALLY scary happens for a good half hour to forty five minutes. Why? BECAUSE THE BACKDROP HAS TO BE SET TO SCARE THE HELL OUT OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!! This movie is fantastic and should be viewed by any horror fan. Hands down. Next question please. Expand
  61. MattR.
    Jan 15, 2007
    9
    "Thrillingly terrific and terrifying" would be the phrase that immediately comes to mind when I think of "The Descent", Neil Marshall's horror masterpiece. Never have I viewed such a claustrophobic film, where my heart is literally beating out of my chest at the mere sight of a tunnel.
  62. NickB
    Feb 13, 2007
    9
    Unexpectedly good film, I had been told by others to check it out without knowing anything of the premise. I watched the unrated director's cut, which definitely pulled no punches. Fans of H.P. Lovecraft in cinema take note: while this is not a Lovecraft film per se, it easily fits all tropes and elements of the genre. As for me, as a jaded horror fan, it's nice to run across a Unexpectedly good film, I had been told by others to check it out without knowing anything of the premise. I watched the unrated director's cut, which definitely pulled no punches. Fans of H.P. Lovecraft in cinema take note: while this is not a Lovecraft film per se, it easily fits all tropes and elements of the genre. As for me, as a jaded horror fan, it's nice to run across a movie that made me jump out of my skin about ten times during the movie. Very hard to do to me anymore! I look forward to more work from this director. Expand
  63. RD.
    Mar 25, 2007
    9
    Very good horror. Such a horror movie comes only once ina few years.
  64. Nov 7, 2014
    10
    It's brutal,gore and the monsters are terrifying,this movie is just incredible.The female characters are plausible and the scenario is good.Probably one the most scary movie in years.
  65. Dec 23, 2014
    9
    This is one of the best horror films I have ever seen as long as it is seen unedited with its original ending. I recently saw it again on TV and was so disappointed at its "hopeful" new ending. Since I tend to be claustrophobic "The Descent" made me intensely uncomfortable. All horror buffs should see this film but only the unedited version which makes it that much more frightening.
  66. Feb 23, 2015
    9
    The Descent is a very fantastic horror that definitely shows that not all horror movies these days suck. It has likable characters and an intriguing, yet dark plot. However, while there are plenty of great scares in the film, it does host some cheap "boo!" moments as well. And this may be nitpicking, but there are so many questions that could be asked about the crawlers that result in plotThe Descent is a very fantastic horror that definitely shows that not all horror movies these days suck. It has likable characters and an intriguing, yet dark plot. However, while there are plenty of great scares in the film, it does host some cheap "boo!" moments as well. And this may be nitpicking, but there are so many questions that could be asked about the crawlers that result in plot holes in the movie that I won't even go on about. All-in-all, fantastic movie that is a must-watch for any horror fans. Expand
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. 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."
  2. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    70
    The chills and spills keep comin' to agreeable effect in Brit-made scarefest The Descent.
  3. 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.