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The flick did right by me on many levels. First off; I loved the casting. Although some of the characters were a tad too underdeveloped for my liking (like Ali Marhyar’s and Marion Lambert’s roles, I kept forgetting they were there); on the whole I actually dug and cared about everybody with the yummy Scarlett (Perdita Weeks), cool-cat Papillon (François Civil), the affable George (Ben Feldman) and the "smarter than most" Benji (Edwin Hodge) being in the forefront. The performances felt organic and everybody shared a well oiled chemistry, hence contributed to me buying into the sordid happenings. And big kudos to John Erick Dowdle for putting me through the ringer by way of his tension charged and grab by the collar directing choices. He truly gave what could have been a mundane walk through the found footage park a potent shot of adrenaline. There was one scene in particular here having to do with some poor sap getting stuck in a tight spot and not being able to get out. Now I’m a claustrophobic person by nature (heights not a problem, tights spaces - problem) and the scene in question had me squirming in my seat like a worm getting impaled on a hook. It was expertly conveyed! Add to all that an unpredictable nature that I enjoyed, a furious pace, a badass sound design, some pretty cool ideas and a handful of cringe inducing moments that carved a smile on my face and you get a nail-biting horror-coaster ride that didn't always hit the mark, but that gave it its best shot with gusto!
On the flip-side; the film sported dumb moves/turns to serve the plot (don’t get me started on that The Mole character and how that was handled) and it came with the token “found footage” fail: "Who’s filming that person who is alone again?" Exactly. My main peeves though were A- That after all of the build up, the horror that was delivered didn’t do it for me 100%. Some of it came off as cheesy/silly and I was expecting more than what we got. And B- At the end, I didn’t fully get the inner workings of the plot. So either I am a moron or the film did a lousy job at explaining itself. I opt for the first option by the way.You tell me! NOTE: I couldn’t decipher Perdita Weeks whispering revelation during the finale, you know the moment where she divulged an important piece of information? The one that sent the film to its ending? Yeah that one. I was begging for subtitles there. So yeah, that played against me.
When all was said and bent over; I can't deny that I enjoyed myself with AS ABOVE, SO BELOW and that’s all that matters to me! It is the kind of movie that one can nitpick the shit out of if they wanted to, but personally, I didn't care to. I wanted to be entertained, I was, end of story. I'll leave the nitpicking to the trolls and "real critics". Now I loved watching it with a crowd (who laughed and jumped at the same places as me) but you can wait for the disk IMO. It’s definitely worth at least ONE look though!