starring Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder
written and directed by Neil Marshall
by Walter Chaw Beginning in the same way as countless other genre pictures (the city folks go to a cabin and have boring, perfunctory, character-defining chatter), Neil Marshall's often-terrifying, often-brilliant The Descent subsequently manages to describe for long stretches a complicated, Jungian labyrinth of regret and shadow-projections and doubling through dank explorations of a vaginal, womb-like metaphor for the subconscious. There's a moment where our avatar, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald), emerges from a gore bath and stands reborn into the very avenging feminist totem of Carrie post-prom: it's just one of three "births" Sarah endures (four if you count a dream sequence in a hospital early on), the last of which stands in tribute to the final sting of Carrie. It's possible, in fact, to split the film into quarters according to its recurrent motifs of gestation-into-discharge following penetration.