Take a Drink: whenever foreshadowing slaps you in the face/for every clue uncovered.
Do a Shot: each time the camera gets dropped. Take a Sip (for the foolhardy): anytime the perspective gets bouncy.
Do a Shot: before the movie pick at least one person you think is gonna make it out alive and do a shot for that one and/or every one you get right.
Take a Drink: for supernatural flim-flam, hijinks, and/or shenanigans.
Do a Shot: every time somebody bites it. Take Two: when they LITERALLY bite it.
Shotgun a Beer: when motherfuckers hug it out.
By: Felix Felicis (Two Beers)-
Cards on the table, when I first picked up the review for As Above, So Below my first thought was “how shitfaced can I get and still legally buy a ticket to this?” But then something magical happened. No, my letter to Hogwarts is still seventeen years overdue, but the horror gods opened up their psychotic maws and spewed forth glorious terror, leaving me in a quivering mass of fear more intense than that time I passed out in 2009 and woke up in a relationship (I still have nightmares about that).
As Above, So Below follows Perdita Weeks as “Scarlett”, an intrepid and headstrong mashup of Lara Croft, Benjamin Gates, and Indiana Jones, as she struggles to finish her father’s lifetime quest of discovering the mythical Philosopher’s Stone. Alongside an increasingly not-so-intrepid band of Parisian misfits and an American Robin to her British Batman, Scarlett explores the catacombs of the dead beneath Paris to unearth more than she could’ve ever bargained for. Will she or anyone else sort out the way home or get stuck in hellish Hufflepuff for eternity? Will jump-scares ever not make me awkwardly climb into the middle-aged man’s lap to my right? Will parachute pants ever make a comeback?
After a shakier start than Michael J. Fox trying to play Jenga, As Above, So Below rallied and slowly began building tension, ratcheting up the stakes and playing on the universal fear of what goes Charlie Sheen, I mean Lindsay Lohan, I mean bump in the night. With masterful use of a limited budget and a hands-down claustrophobic set, this movie cobbled together a Blair Witch meets National Treasure meets The Descent meets What Dreams May Come narrative where you knew exactly what was gonna happen and still got sucked in to the horror quicksand anyway.
To be fair, I’m insanely easy to terrify (just ask the moth that flew by my ankle last week causing me to spastically fling myself into a screen door face-first whilst attempting to escape), but there was enough of a plot to keep the audience engaged-yet-on-the-edge-of-their seats for the majority of the film, despite a lack of total originality. As Above, So Below was a Frankenstein’s monster of thriller/horror genre stereotypes and used the oldest tools in the box, and used them Kate Upton’s ass, I mean Jennifer Lawrence’s leaked nudes, I mean perfectly to create a solid monster-under-your-bed, creature-just-around the corner, hobgoblins-in-the-dark mystical mystery.
The terror in As Above, So Below was basically idiot-proof; right environment meets right atmosphere and Play-Doh hamsters could’ve achieved the same effect as the cast (who did a creditable, if not particularly inspired, job). The foreshadowing was also about as subtle as the meth-riddled hand of the hobo whom I assume does Ke$ha’s stage makeup.
In addition to a weak beginning, the film had a weaker ending than it deserved, feeling more like a throwaway than anything else. And all the tension that had built up throughout this Euro Trip thriller (I expected at the very least one last gasp, one last hand grasping in the dark, one last death to remind the survivors of the hell they escaped from) dissolved and As Above, So Below ended like most of my relationships, on a whimper and not a bang.
As Above, So Below isn’t the most original hooker on the block, but she’ll give you one hell of a fear-boner.