Netflix Horror Movie Review: 'As Above So Below'

August 24, 2020
As Above So Below

‘AS Above, So Below’ is a horror movie available on Netflix but produced by Universal. It’s presented as a found footage style of horror flick. An archaeologist, Scarlett (Perdita Weeks), goes to Iran to explore an ancient cave before it gets demolished. 

She finds a mysterious statue called the Rose Key with Aramaic engravings. She films it and narrowly escapes before the caves collapse. She then goes to Paris to meet George (Ben Feldman), an Aramaic expert who happens to be her ex-lover, to help her decipher the writings on the Rose Key. 

It leads them to the location of the legendary Philosopher’s Stone that even her late father was looking for. (Maybe she should have asked the help of Harry Potter.) It is located about 370 meters underground in the Paris Catacombs. A stranger tells them to seek the help of a man named Papillon who’s said to be familiar with the catacombs. 

They find Papillon (Francois Civil) and convince him to help them as they will find hidden treasure in the catacombs. Scarlett, George and their cameraman, Benji (Edwin Hodge), go with Papillon, his girlfriend Souxie (Marion Lambert) and a friend named Zed (Ali Marhyar) deep inside the off-limits section of the underground cemetery.

Deep down, they encounter many obstacles, including cultists in the tunnels, a blocked tunnel strewn with human bones, and they even hear a telephone ringing inside the supposedly uninhabited caves. When Scarlett answer the phone, the man on the other end introduces himself as her father, who’s long been dead. 

Eventually, they get into a tomb and find the hidden treasure. There’s a big stone embedded in a mural and Scarlett believes it is the Philosopher’s Stone but when she removes it, the room collapses and Souxie is injured, but the Stone heals her wounds. 

They then find a door hidden on the floor with a symbol saying “as above, so below”. They go down and get into a passage which says “abandon all hope, ye who enter here”, which is the same warning in the entrance to hell of “Dante’s Inferno”. 

At this point, it’s easy to see that Scarlett and company got more than what they bargained for. It’s your guess as to who in their group will perish and who will survive?

The concept for the movie being set inside the Paris catacombs is quite intriguing, but the production of this horror genre fare is very B horror flick in nature. It has the feel of a creepy haunted house attraction but the shaky camerawork can be dizzying. 

And when the movie’s protagonists start encountering all sorts of dangerous problems deep underground from ghosts to frightening corpses like what you see in a horror video game, you want to tell them: “Buti nga sa inyo. Ginusto nyo yan, e.”

After all, it was their choice to wander in these cramped tunnels that maybe the gateway to hell, so kesehoda. Directed by John Erick Dowdle, the movie will remind you of similar found footage films like “The Blair Witch Project” or “Paranormal Activity” with the jerky cinematography. 

Only, this one has more dark scenes that you sometimes can't figure out what exactly is going on. And also, it offers more gore than the two previous films that are both box office hits. But as a mix of horror, thriller and adventure, this definitely has much less to offer in terms of good scares.