Marketing is everything in the film industry. It gets people excited for a movie and inspires a strong opening weekend. If the film is good, word of mouth spreads and many more tickets will be purchased. This is why a huge emphasis is placed on trailers and promotions, and marketing is a category in which “As Above, So Below” excelled.
There was a massive amount of hype surrounding this film in the weeks leading up to its debut. Trailers, TV spots and even a partnership with YouTube star PewDiePie forced the work into the public eye. Only one crucial point remained in making the movie into a sensation: would it be any good?
In short, no.
The film has a simple premise: send a few amateur treasure hunters deep into the catacombs of Paris in search of Nicolas Flamel’s legendary Philosopher’s Stone. For the Harry Potter fans, yes, that Philosopher’s Stone.
Once in the catacombs, the explorers become trapped and are forced to face demons from their past in a very individualized hell.
Much like the characters, however, filmgoers are subject to torment by way of painful clichés and laughable dialogue choices, including an absolutely worthless and unfathomable romantic connection between two of the main characters. If you are looking for a great story, search elsewhere.
The trailers promised one thing about this movie: fear. In this area, somehow, it certainly delivers. A very tense atmosphere and plays on all common fears, including claustrophobia, darkness and fire, create quite a few heart-pounding scenes. Some of the scares may be predictable, unfortunately, but the intensity is pervasive in scenes without dialogue.
Overall, “As Above, So Below” is a moderately okay film, but it could not live up to its own hype. I give this movie a 5/10 for its tense nature pockmarked by unintentionally comical moments. Those looking for a genuinely enjoyable and scary horror movie are likely better holding off until “Annabelle” and “Ouija” are released on Oct. 3 and Oct. 24, respectively.
By Andrew Hill
Arts & Life Editor