As Above, So Below is a a 2014 horror/thriller movie about a group of explorers that venture into the catacombs of Paris in search of treasures. The group is led by Dr. Scarlett Marlowe, who’s quest for Flamels legendary Philosophers Stone, leads the group to hell and back.
The story is unique and well executed. The film takes place in a universe where Dante’s Divine Comedy, specifically the Inferno is proven to be real. Hell exists and the entrance lies far within the catacombs beneath Paris. Scarlett and her ragtag crew of explorers descend through several layers of hell in pursuit of treasure and their eventual freedom. There hasn’t been a modern adaption of Dantes Inferno to my knowledge so I was really excited to see this film give its interpretation of Dantes Hell and I wasn’t disappointed, yet I wasn’t wowed by it. Aside from the overlay of Dante’s Hell and the lore surrounding it over the overall story its kind of dragged down by the bland characters. Scarlett is basically a Mary Sue, she has like three PhD’s, she knows everything about everything, and always comes out on top to the point where you never feel there’s any real danger to her character. The rest of the crew are basically forgettable cannon fodder that don’t make an impression. That’s not to say that it wasn’t well acted, just that the characters were generic.
The setting primarily takes place underground in the catacombs. The cool thing about this movie was that it was actually filmed in the real catacombs, so everything around them is real for the most part. As the group progressed deeper and deeper into the catacombs I liked how the atmosphere changes. Things get darker and more tense among them as they’re forced to go deeper as they believe its the only way to reach freedom. Down there they’re faced with their individual demons and must conquer them in order to absolve themselves and escape. My favorite part was when they reached the final level and they see this figure in a black robe sitting in a chair with its back to them. They take their eyes off of it and when they turn back it silently starts to approach them, leaving a smokey mist behind it as it moves, while similar creatures appear around it.
Overall, As Above, So Below is an average movie. I tend to like it more because I’m a fan of Dantes Inferno and love seeing the lore of that story in a modern setting. The story was good and unique, yet dragged down by the generic characters. The setting was one of my favorite things about it. Its worth a watch.