As Above, So Below
Provided by Metacritic.com
The film’s finely tuned middle act, a fast-paced and quick-witted journey into (possible) madness, eventually gives way to an unsettlingly over the top final section that relies far too much on larger setpieces and supposed “big scares” that are never as good as the smaller, weirder stuff.
Boasts sporadically electrifying visuals but a frustratingly messy mythology.
It all makes for clumsy-fun escapism, not bad as end-of-summer chillers go.
The film predictably alternates in scaring its characters by tapping into their deepest fears and having them rub shoulders with the relics of a past that insists on being undisturbed.
These catacombs are just an echo chamber into which any rubbish can be pumped, and while this gives carte blanche to production designer Louise Marzaroli, the relentless flow of subterranean non-sequitur becomes at least as trying as the whirling, jerky non-cinematography.
There are some interestingly contrived moments of claustrophobia and surreal lunacy, but this cliched and slightly hand-me-down script neither scares nor amuses very satisfyingly.
New York Magazine (Vulture)
There are moments of welcome tension amid the inchoate lunacy, but these in turn merely highlight why the rest of the film doesn’t work.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
It’s more unpleasant than scary, and ever so slow in getting up to speed.
The Hollywood Reporter
This low budget effort from director John Erick Dowdle and writer-producer-brother Drew Dowdle provides a few late scares after plenty of eye-rolling setup, with said scares due more to the heavy sound design than the action itself.
It's clear from the start that Dowdle isn't taking any of this seriously. The same cannot be said for the game and luckless cast of young actors, who are so whiny and hysterical right from the start of their plunge into the tombs that they win hearty unintentional laughs throughout.
See all 23 reviews on Metacritic.com
See all external reviews