In perhaps one of the creepiest films to release in the last few months, “As Above/So Below” is half thriller and half adventure, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. Deep within the ancient catacombs of Paris, a team of ragtag treasure hunters accidentally stumble upon a portal to hell amidst the millions of ancient skeletons. Terror ensues when each member of the team is haunted by their past as they try to escape the underworld.
“As Above/So Below” begins with found footage and shaky-cam details of the research of a woman named Scarlett (Perdita Weeks). She recruits her friends, Benji and George, to find the ancient Philosopher’s Stone. Their findings lead them to a French graffiti gang leader named Papillion, known for exploring the hidden tunnels in the Catacombs. Once they’re inside, the real thrills begin.
The film does an excellent job of building up suspense without starting off too slow. While the creepiness takes a while to set in, the character and plot development is interesting enough to keep the audience engaged. Scarlett and her friends have a likable dynamic, and the search for the Philosopher’s Stone gives off a “National Treasure”-esque vibe. The puzzles don’t detract from the main focus of the movie but draw the audience into something more than found footage of a haunted place.
“As Above/So Below” keeps the story fresh, but definitely could have been scarier. For an R rating, it doesn’t take the opportunity to freak out the audience as much as it could have. The film could have made hell look a lot scarier, but it seems only moderately creepy. The ending was particularly rushed as well, leaving the conclusion mostly up to the audience to figure out.
Though summer is over and most of the blockbusters have already left our Highland 12, “As Above/So Below” did not disappoint. The film is a creepy treasure hunt gone wrong, perfect for a late night viewing.
“As Above/So Below” is rated R for bloody violence and terror, as well as strong language throughout.