My advice to young filmmakers after seeing this horror outing: Please turn on your image stabilization feature on your lens before you shoot your first person POV flick. I am all for ,in-your-face gore and scares, but not at the cost of making me and my date NAUSEOUS. I must beg that you make your own steadi-cam, following any one of the YouTube instructional videos. And just throwing the camera around during whatever ‘attacks’ you in the dark is just lazy and probably would void your camera’s warranty!
The backstory looks like this – A hot 20 something quad-lingual (plus fluency in two dead languages) with two PhD’s and a masters has to team up with a vintage clock repairman (also hot 20 something male) to find a rock under Paris while a documentarian tags along with three cool Parisians that are experts at the underground tunnels to guide them. Everyone works so hard to be cool that they provide their own ventilation as the descend deeper under Paris with every turn.
Everything goes wrong and gets weird from the get go…including some of the actions of the guides themselves. Would YOU blow up the only entrance to the underground labyrinth because a security guard was chasing you? Not with one but two sticks of dynamite?
These guys do, and with nary a concern as they begin their hike. Then, stumbling upon an old friend who had been ‘lost’ down there for years doesn’t get so much as a “how you been?” when he is suddenly tagging along with the gang as they uncover more weirdness.
These asides undermine some of the cooler things that the filmmakers had up their sleeve, and for once I won’t spoil those. And the tired handheld camera work actually makes the supposed tight spaces LESS claustrophobic. Just re-watch The Descent to see how a locked off camera on a tripod can make spelunking look like the most insane thing a person would ever do. All the head lamp Go Pros worn by the gang don’t really find the shots that induce horror, only nausea!
On top of that, there is little in the actual catacombs of Paris, more defunct subways and underground parking of Paris. A shaky mash up of conspiracy folklore that includes the Knights Templar and the Philosophers Stone was probably what the original script was about, but after some re-shoots you shave off the edges of that story and you have a film that is like everything you seen, only probably those were stabilized and scarier.