When I saw the DVD cover as I walked by the rental machine, I was intrigued. I read the description and thought, “Yes. Yes, I would like to watch that movie.” But even though As Above/So Below had a strong start, its finish left me disappointed…
I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum, but they will come up.
In the beginning, AA/SB is a treasure hunt movie. Sort of a creepy National Treasure underground. Scarlett has been following her father’s Philosopher’s Stone diary the same way Indy does for the Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Her clues lead her to the catacombs of Paris. Dragging along two friends and a few guides, she takes her group through the creepy tunnels containing the bones of over 6 million bodies. It is a horror movie, so one of the tunnels is haunted too.
As they enter the haunted section of the catacombs, bizarre things start happening to them. First the tunnel taunts them with reminders of things they regret, all revolving around people in their lives that have died tragically. It’s amazing that this tiny group has so many tragic deaths!
Of course they find the Philosopher’s Stone. I don’t know if it’s impressive or sad, but there is not one mention of Harry Potter throughout the whole movie! Once they find they stone, the movie could have ended and been short, but descent. Instead, it goes on another 45 minutes.
For the rest of the movie, non-sensical things start happening. The personal demons of these people kill a few of them off. Unexplained cloaked creepers are hanging out in the tunnel. Stone figures attack the group. One man is invisibly pulled into a burning car! Seriously, the others interact physically with their demons but this guy is like magnetically drawn to his death. They literally have no hope of winning if the ghosts can force them to their death.
Then, to top it all off, Scarlett realizes she needs to go back to the room where they found the stone! She leaves her friends, midway through a ghost attack, runs back through all of the tunnels with considerably less difficulty and returns to them just in time to finish running away from the creepy ghost pursuing them.
END OF SPOILERS
The treasure hunt concept was intriguing. I love the follow clues to the treasure type movies. National Treasure, Fool’s Gold and even the DaVinci Code all entertain me with their hunts. The catacombs have always fascinated me, so that was another reason this should have been a great movie for me. Scarlett was played by Perdita Weeks, someone unknown to me, but very pretty and watchable.
That’s where the positives end. The movie was hard to watch, due to its found-footage style of Blair Witch Project shaky hand held cameras. The horror aspects were fine while they were creepy taunting ghosts, but lame once the ghosts started interacting with the group. And some of the plot points needed some help. It would have been better if they had just made it a straight treasure hunt movie.
I enjoyed the first half of this movie, but did not enjoy it enough to add it to my wall of DVDs.
Have you seen it? Do you agree? Are you glad I saved you from spending your hard-earned money on a rental? Let me know!