What is more dreadful: absolute betrayal by one of your longtime closest friends, or facing insurmountable obstacles while confronting ferocious yet hidden feral humanoids at nearly every turn? What if you had to face both of these dreadful situations at the same time?!
2005’s The Descent features both of those dilemmas. A group of women – friends reunited after tragedy has struck one of them a year ago – embark on what seems like an ordinary spelunking adventure, one that’s supposed to be as therapeutic as it is fun. However, the ambition of one member of the group leads them off course, and that, listeners, is where the monsters come in. We watch as these women endure violence, filth, darkness, claustrophobia, and all-around terror as they fight their way out of the uncharted cave tunnels.
What we really like about The Descent is that it isn’t your average “strong female characters” film. The characters are indeed strong, but they are presented in an organic way – the audience is shown they are strong, rather than told they are strong. The women are real, and thus real to each other. Frankly, the story design and character development in The Descent should be standard reference in how to write modern women: start with a strong character first, then decide she’s a woman.
Check out our full review in the podcast below! In this episode, we also explore the possibility of mutant/feral humans, leading us to a segment on the infamous Fugate family – otherwise known as “The Blue People of Kentucky.”