One of the Greatest Horror Films Is Leaving Amazon Prime Video This Week, And You Should Totally Revisit It Before It’s Gone

 Some of the best movies ever are on Amazon Prime.
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Few things are more terrifying than the idea of being stuck between a rock and a hard spot, and one movie that brilliantly uses that common fear happens to be one of my favorites. I’m, of course, talking about 2005’s The Descent. For my money, there are not many great horror movies that are more bone chilling than the claustrophobic tale of spelunkers going head-to-head with some terrifying cave-dwelling creatures, and this great movie of the 2000s is about to leave one of the best streaming services -- Amazon Prime Video. Still, there is no time like the present to revisit the flick before it’s gone.

The Descent is a masterclass in terror, released in 2005 and directed by Neil Marshall. The film follows a group of adventurous women who embark on a spelunking trip in the Appalachian Mountains, only to find themselves trapped and hunted by monstrous creatures lurking in the darkness. But what sets the film apart from your typical creature feature is its impeccable execution in building tension and psychological horror.

We follow the main character, Sarah, who goes on a trip with her girlfriends after her husband and daughter are killed in a tragic accident. The movie doesn’t just bring the scares; it’s a horror movie that knows how to meaningfully address grief.Like some of the best entries in the genre, this story of survival has one killer plot twist.

The Descent cast in a dark cave
The Descent cast in a dark cave

From the get-go, the movie plunges you into a world of oppressive claustrophobia. The narrow, winding caves become a character in their own right, squeezing the breath out of both the protagonists and the audience. Marshall’s use of lighting—or the lack thereof—is nothing short of genius. The dim, flickering headlamps and the occasional flare illuminate just enough to keep your imagination running wild while the rest remains shrouded in darkness, hiding untold terrors. I’m getting chills just thinking about it!

Unlike many horror films that rely on disposable characters, The Descent introduces us to a well-rounded cast.

The group of women is depicted with authenticity and depth, each character bringing her own backstory and motivations to the cave expedition. The film does an exceptional job of exploring themes of grief, guilt, and friendship, making you care deeply about their fates. This emotional investment amplifies the horror as you root for their survival against increasingly bleak odds.

The true brilliance of Marshall’s movie lies in his directorial pacing and the relentless buildup of suspense he crafts in each scene that escalates from mildly uncomfortable to unbearably tense.

Shauna Macdonald in The Descent
Shauna Macdonald in The Descent

The movie’s first half is dedicated to establishing the characters and their environment, letting the audience bask in the eerie silence of the underground caverns. Then, the absolute nightmare begins as the explorers stumble upon the grotesque, blind humanoid creatures.

These “Crawlers,” as they are known, are a triumph of creature design. Their unsettling appearance, agility, and ferocity turn every encounter into a heart-pounding game of cat and mouse. The horror is visceral and unflinching, pulling no punches in its portrayal of survival against monstrous odds.

In a genre often flooded with clichés and jump scares, The Descent is a gem and a beacon of originality. It’s a movie that doesn’t just scare you—it stays with you, creeping into your thoughts long after the credits roll. So, before this modern horror classic disappears from streaming, use your Amazon Prime Video subscription to experience—or re-experience—the harrowing journey, at least now through June 29th, 2024.

While you’re at it, check out our 2024 movie schedule to see what spine-tingling upcoming horror movies are headed to a theater near you.