Musings in the Dark: Horror 102: Women in Horror


Horror 102: Women in Horror

The Descent (2005) is a British horror film about a group of female thrill-seekers engaging in a spelunking trip in North Carolina.  The women, led by the fearless Juno (Natalie Mendoza), are of the belief that they are exploring a known cave system.  However, Juno has misled her friends and taken them to an unexplored system because she wanted them to be the ones credited for its discovery.  Shortly after entering the caves, part of one collapses and the cave’s entry is sealed off, forcing the women to move deeper into the system in order to find another exit.  What the women do not know is that the caves they’re traveling through are inhabited by feral creatures who hunt via sound.  Situations occur and things happen, and the women end up getting separated, becoming fodder for the underground predators.

I like this movie a lot, but it isn’t one I can watch often simply due to my claustrophobia.  The close-ups when the women are moving through tight crawl spaces literally activates my anxiety.  I love that the movie focuses on a group of female adrenaline junkies.  There is a backstory involving Juno and the other protagonist Sarah (Shauna MacDonald) and it plays out over the course of the movie.

I prefer the British version of The Descent because of the ending.  The American version deviates wildly, culminating in a sequel that I refused to watch.  I don’t know what it is about certain American movies and the preference for upbeat endings, as they don’t play true to me.  But definitely give the British version some love.


  1. Now this is a movie I have seen a few times. I use to have it on DVD.


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