Wipe That Damn Smile Off Your Face: As Above, So Below Review, Part Five

28 Dec

So, we’re finally ready to wrap this up! It’s been a while, but this totally deserved a five part review, right?

[Editor’s Note: … You were just busy writing Portal 2 fanfiction, huh.]


That’s… that’s not actually how the Catacombs work, guys.

Previously, on As Above, So Below: A team of adventurers have dug their way into Hell. Which, wow, why isn’t that a Minecraft sequel yet?


So, yeah, Souxie’s dead!

I really should have included that in the “previously on”, huh.

Anyway, they’re on the road again, and keep heading through Catacombs. But because everything is inverted this time around, when they go to head up one of the tunnels they rappelled down, they… still have to head down. Um. That isn’t even a little consistent with how the inversion has been working so far, it’s always been a “left to right” kinda thing, but whatever, it sounds spooky.

And of course, since Benji got injured when they went down this tunnel last time, this time around a spooky lady performs baby’s first jump scare and sends him hurtling down, head-first! Oh my god, only you losers could have two fatalities after you discover the cure for eternal life.

They crawl through the bones over water, and George sees his dead brother under the water, and… somehow believes it’s real? Yes, yes, because he’d totally be at the bottom of the French fucking Catacombs. Did somebody just take your “competency” switch and flip it completely around?

So, the team moves forward, until they find a big open space with screaming, and fire flicking ominously around the corner. And what is it? The clip that was in every single trailer! Er, I mean, a big flaming car with somebody just sitting nonchalantly inside. Papillon starts freaking out, screaming how it wasn’t his fault, which fulfills the foreshadowing with the “burn on his hand” thing, yadda yadda yadda, and then the car collapses in on itself.

Dragging him inside it.

And leaving his legs sticking out of the solid rock.

Oh, I’m sorry, I had no idea we were in As Above, So Looney Tunes.

*hums “The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down”*

Cue more running through dark tunnels! Our three survivors, George, Scarlet, and… the third guy, run around and get to hear the spooky noises, as they pass… a guy in a cartoonish Grim Reaper outfit, sitting in a chair. Oh, lord. Nice to know that Lord Motherfucking Satan has the same effects budget as my high school drama class. And at least they could afford Bert and Ernie!

As they hide from the weak-ass reaper, a stone corpse bursts from the wall and takes a chunk out of George. And then, the third guy… kicks it into fucking dust! Jesus, for being dull as dishwater, he’s surprisingly badass. Could we have a Doctor Who episode with this guy? I wanna see him kick those weepy motherfuckers into gravel.

George starts bleeding out, so Scarlet tries to heal him with the Philosopher’s Stone, but it doesn’t work. A little bit more riddling, and she figures out that the stone is yet another trap, and she has to return back to the chamber to find the real one, and begins running back. You know, that’s nice and all, but this movie could have real taken advantage of the fact that if they wanted to, everybody could have been immortal. Imagine: All of their gruesome injuries, all of their falls, scars, broken limbs, all of that… only, they’re not allowed to die. These broken, bleeding, mangled husks of human beings would be trapped, and forced to feel each and every bit of pain, with absolutely NO release. Hell, if you wanted to, you could even end the movie with the entire party immortal… and then the French Catacombs collapse on their heads, and, buried under six million corpses and all of France… they are completely alive, aware, and screaming. For the rest of time itself.

But no, I guess your idea is pretty cool too.

“My god… it would make such a sweet tattoo.”

Scarlet begins the run back, only the pool of water and bones has been replaced with blood and hands that try and grope her- er, I mean, kill her. So, she makes it into the chamber where Souxie died, and finds her strung up with a noose. Why? Because clumsy jump scare, that’s why. She looks through the chamber, and notices a big, really freaking obvious gold orb. Wait, is that supposed to be the Philosopher’s Stone? Damn, he’s got big balls.

Back with Third-Guy and George, a big coalition of people with scary hoods come in, so Third tries to sneak the two of them away. And meanwhile, Scarlet has apparently mastered magic, and her repetition of one of the phrases controls the pool of dead people. Um. Okay, I’m choosing not to question that. And next, she finds yet another guy, strung up with a noose, and it turns out to be father! See, that’s why she kept seeing nooses, it was foreshadowing! Annnnd the question about why she saw it in freaking Iran before any of this happened is left to your fevered imagination, because the writer is far too baked to come up with a proper explanation.

Scarlet stops to snuggle her father’s corpse, because… she has some issues, I guess, and she makes it back to Third and George. She kisses him, because again, she has a thing for dead guys, and… he’s suddenly better now! So, what, how the fuck does that work? Is the Stone in her now? Is the Stone real now? Is she just a fucking wizard? Okay, got it, we’re sticking with that. Scarlet is a wizard now.

To escape the hooded goons, they find yet another big whole they have to rappel down, but they’re… sorta out of rope. But it’s okay, because Scarlet just casts Feather Fall, and they make it down okay.

No, I’m completely serious. That is exactly what happens.

Now you’re just trying to piss me off, aren’t you, movie.


And what do they find down there? A manhole cover, which… leads directly back France! Yes, I’m still not kidding, they went so far down, they literally looped all the way back around, and now they’ve escaped! There’s no dramatic twist either, that’s where the film ends. They just went down so far that they went into Hell, and now they’re free, because they’re wizards now.


Okay, to be fair, the fact that the remaining people did confess their misdeeds before their escape could be seen as a Karmic escape from Hell… or you could say that the only reason that worked is because Scarlet thought it should work, and her lessons in magic sprang from the phrase “As I believe the world to be, so it is”, which means that yes, this is still a stupid fucking ending!

Anyway, that was As Above, So Below! How was it?

… Well, it certainly wasn’t as cool as my idea for a horror movie. You butts. You super, super butts.

No, butt (heh) seriously, it was pretty decent! I liked the idea, although the execution could have used some work, it was far too reliant in jump scares and had a crappy ending, and the whole “wizardy” thing should have been excised and salted the earth. But it was definitely well acted and well shot, and it was even decently edited, not relying on camera glitches as most found footage does! Give it a watch!

Just… stop it five minutes from the credits.


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