As above so below – The mystery of the philosopher’s stone
Review – 7/10
What Kind of Movie: Horror
Cast & Informations
Directed by John Erick Dowdle
Written by Dowdle and his brother Drew
Perdita Weeks – Scarlett
Ben Feldman – George
Edwin Hodge – Benji
François Civil – Papillon
It was released on August 29, 2014.
Part of the movie has been filmed in the real catacombs of Paris and very few props were needed due to the fact that the decor and remains of dead people were actually already present. It is said that the production team had to face many problems because of the lack of electricity and cell phone service down in the catacombs.
Knowing that a part of the movie was done in the real catacombs actually makes me more appreciative of the movie and implements another dimension to the scenes where you can actually start to ask yourself the question “Are those tunnels of bones the real thing or just another cheap prop?”
What the movie is about
We follow the journey of Scarlettt Marlower, a young scholar and her old love interest, George, who is also the translator of the group while they actively search for the philosopher’s stone. The philosopher’s stone is legendary and is said to be able to turn base metals such as lead into real gold. It is also believed that the stone as the power to give immortality and rejuvenation.
The research of the group leads them to think that the stone lies beneath the city of Paris in what is known as the catacombs. The catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries holding the remains of more than six millions people. World’s largest grave.
The first part of our journey begins as Scarlett is trying to decipher the Rose Key she found in Iran with the help of George. Thanks to his transcription, the rose key lead them to Nicholas Flamel’s riddle present on his tombstone. Flamel, is believed to have discovered the stone and achieved immortality. After some deliberation, the group decides to go into the Paris catacombs where they think Nicholas Flamel’s grave, which contains the philosopher’s stone, wait for them. To get there they need to enlist the help of a guide, called Papillon. As they meet challenge after challenge, each member of the group is confronted by their deepest fears and regrets, which turn deadly. The suicide of Scarlett’s father, the accidental death of George’s brother, etc.
What I Liked About This Movie
I liked the journey of our adventurer through the earth to find what is believed to be a myth. It reminded me a little of The Goonies but in the Horror genre. Some people will scream at me for comparing As Above so Below to the Goonies but it is nonetheless my impression of it. A group of friends launch on an adventure based only on mysterious clues so they can find a treasure worthy of the risks that may befall them.
The camera angle reminded me a lot of movies like Paranormal Activity and Blair Witch Project but with more stabilization and a touch of professionalism, which SAVED the movie for me. I hate Blair Witch Project. The camera mounted on the characters head flashlight gave a certain feel that allowed us to actually believe they were travelling underground. As if we had found the long-lost recordings of a past expedition and that we were just now seeing it.
Also, The END is a must. To me, the end was worth the movie. The way they escaped and the relief on their faces was worth the time. Enjoy!
Should you go see it?
The movie has been badly reviewed by other people but I think it is worth your time to actually go see it. The introduction of Nicholas Flamel, the supposed creator of the philosopher’s stone, the catacombs of Paris, and other alchemy knowledge, such as VITRIOL, make it an interesting and informative movie. If you are the kind of person who likes fast action-paced movie with lots of movie effects, I am afraid that you’ll be unhappy with As Above So Below. I suggest you move along to another movie. To the others, I hope you enjoy the movie and don’t forget to comment and let me know what you think of the movie.