Today I Love: The Descent

Posted on October 27, 2009


Have you seen The Descent?

If not, you must remedy that immediately. As long as you’re not reading this entry on a dark and stormy night. Because then it will just scare the crap out of you.

I love horror movies. I’ve loved horror movies since I was a little kid. Yes, they scare me senseless. I used to have to stop watching Labyrinth whenever David Bowie threw Jennifer Connolly’s baby brother in the air. And the wheelers from Return to Oz? The fabulous Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management mentioned them last weekend and they have been tormenting my subconscious ever since.

So why do I watch them? Because it’s fun. Being terrified from the safety of your sofa is fun. Drama is fun. Excitement is fun. Conflict is fun.

(See what I did there? I feel v. clever)

If you’re a fellow writer, I highly suggest you go out and rent The Descent for an evening of claustraphobia and cave crawlers and a great example of “show, don’t tell.” It follows a group of strong, independent women as they go on a weekend spelunking adventure in Tennessee. The plot that could have easily devolved into the bad cave creature movie, entitled…well, The Cave. The two movies even came out the same year.

What’s the difference between the two of them? Character development or lack thereof. Realistic vs. stilted dialogue. Masterful crafting of suspense vs. OMG GROSS MONSTERS AND GORE EVERYWHERES.

It’s a writing lesson, says I. Watch and learn.

And for giggles, check out this hilarious video of a dancing crawler:

Posted in: movies, writing