Written by: Paula Limbaugh
Directed by: John Erick Dowdle
Cast: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge
As Above, So Below is the latest of the “found footage” movies, which I feel is becoming quite trite. The title comes from “The Emerald Tablet” and embraces the entire system of traditional and modern magic which was inscribed upon the tablet in cryptic wording by Hermes Trismegistus. The significance of this phrase is that it is believed to hold the key to all mysteries. All systems of magic are claimed to function by this formula. “‘That which is above is the same as that which is below’ as…and so on, ad infinitum.” Cited from http://www.themystica.com/mystica/default.html.
This movie revolves around Scarlett Marlowe (Perdita Weeks) a young woman who is searching for the Philosopher’s Stone, a mythical stone with magical powers. After many failed attempts, Scarlett’s search brings her to Paris. With the help of George (Ben Feldman) an old friend, they are able to decipher the clues that will take them on their journey through the Catacombs. Needing to get through restricted areas of the Catacombs, Scarlett enlists the aid of Papillon (Francois Civil) and his two cohorts.
The five of them along with cameraman Benji (Edwin Hodge) begin their descent into Hell!
The premise of this movie is great. The location, an absolute coup for the filmmaking brothers John Erick and Drew Dowdle. They are the first to ever secure permission to film in both the unrestricted and restricted areas of the Catacombs. How cool is that to be actually inside the tomb of millions of people!!
Yeah, this should have been a great movie but instead it became an okay movie. Somewhere along the way the story became disjointed. You have people entering Hell and facing their guilt over past events yet others are just dying for no reason. Camera work became a bit sketchy in some parts and I know this is supposed to be “found footage” but I found it to be annoying and distracting. We are shown characters for no apparent reason other than to make us think something creepy is coming and then we are left thinking HUH?!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is a bad movie I just wouldn’t recommend paying full price to see this at a theater. There were some good ‘make you JUMP’ moments but after that, there was no follow up and I felt let down. I kept waiting to be scared and it never happened. I guess the R rating was given for the few swear words otherwise this is strictly a PG movie.