Todd Gaines’s review published on Letterboxd:
Neil Marshall's intoxicating claustrophobic horrific tale of a group of friends who pick the wrong caves to explore. White water fun. A wreck of a car wreck. Hospital scenes are usually sad. Girls enjoy beer too. Silly pajamas. Sarah's life is a "Hell on Earth" type of life with all the shit that happens to her at the beginning of the film. It's kinda ironic how her "own personal Hell" turns into so much more as the descent into the caves begin. Pictures are used to capture memories. Have you ever tried writing 1000 words for a picture? Try it one day. It's fun. Juno knows directions. A light on your helmet helps you see in the dark. Spooky bats. It's worth noting how beautiful the caves look. If you're claustrophobic you shouldn't crawl through tight dark spaces. The way Marshall captures the tension in the caves is sheer brilliance. There's some dialogue, but it's the look of fear and uncertainty on everyone's faces that reminds the viewer that these pour souls are in for a very bad day. As the tension increases, you're on the edge of your seat as the madness keeps building and building. I wish I knew how to invent the "Never Ending Flashlight Battery." Some broken bones are worse than others. I wonder how many people bite off their own tongue when they're having a broken bone reset? The dark ain't no joke. Holly's green eyes. I should make a list of horror films where someone accidentally kills their friend. The list would be long. We know the Hills Have Eyes, but what the fuck is running around inside the caves? There's just some shit you shouldn't record with your camcorder. Upside down hang. Juno is sorta like a female version of Billy Sole, but with more leadership characteristics. If I had to nit-pick, I would say that some of the characters are underdeveloped. I know Juno and Sarah, but I don't feel a strong connection to anyone else. Maybe I'll grow to enjoy the other characters with repeat viewings. Where's Batman when you need him? Cave curb-stomp. Bloody slip and fall. Cave drool. With all the blood on everyone it's hard to tell the characters apart. Cave swimming. The musical score isn't used a lot, but when it is the score has a John Carpenter vibe for sure. Eye gouge. Bright light is the motherfucker. I've enjoyed all of Neil Marshall's films, but The Descent is now my new favorite. Pay super close attention to the first 5 minutes of the film. The clues at the beginning tell another story that's just as horrifying. Scary. Creepy. Damn good. Highly recommended.