This is one of the few movies that I’ve liked as of late. Though I do admit there are many problems with it, there’s still something about it that’s captivating and keeps me wanting more. It doesn’t seem like there is going to be a sequel in the works anytime soon but I would say that’s it’s definitely worth repeated viewings. As usual, this will not be a spoiler-free review so continue at your own risk.
This is a found footage movie about a girl (Scarlett) on a search for the philosopher’s stone. From the very beginning, it’s clear she’s on what will eventually become a deadly mission to get the stone. Mostly on this mission because it was her father’s life work before he killed himself. It starts with her illegal entering Saudi Arabia in order to get to a temple. It’s underneath some site that is about to be demolished to holy hell so she doesn’t have much time to get what she needs. She gets in and out as quickly as possible, getting the “rosetta stone” type thing she needs to translate the other information she has to narrow down the location of this stone. It turns out that it will be found underneath Paris in the catacombs. Her crew consists of herself, a cameraman named Benji, and then she goes and finds a guy that she knows somehow who can also speak/translate Aramaic. His name is George.
Between her and George they figure out the precise location of the stone but it’s off limits to the general public. They need to find some kind of guide to take them to the location. That’s when they find some weird people at a club who claim to have been in those exact areas and will take them there. This obviously leads to massive issues and overly claustrophobic situations as they climb through tunnels and halls in order to get to the right spot. Even though as more and more time passes I am less and less a fan of the found footage genre of movies, I still think this was very well done. Very realistic. The acting was amazing and the effects were just astounding.
Eventually, Scarlett and the rest reach a tomb where they find an almost completely intact soldier of some kind. He looks like he’s only been dead a few days when it would have had to have been hundreds of years. That’s when they know they are on the right track. The problem is that evil shit is going on down there and obviously it doesn’t want them to find this magical stone, which they do. Things go to hell at that point, quite literally. They find the room with a bunch of treasure which Scarlett doesn’t want. She tells the guys that lead her down there they can have all of it, she just wants the stone. They are unaware that the stone can turn anything into gold and heal all known ailments known to man so they don’t give a shit and are more concerned with the treasure. Upon trying to get into the caged area with the treasure most of the room collapses and the girl on the crew, Siouxie, gets inured to which Scarlett heals her with the stone.
It’s not long after that, that Siouxie gets killed by some crazy asshole hermit that lives down there (that supposedly the rogue crew knew at some point). They have to find their way out because it’s getting creepy and dangerous. The only way out is to go through hell where they are all confronted with their worst nightmares.
In the end, Scarlett realizes that the stone she grabbed was a decoy stone. She is forced to run back through hell, get the real one, and use it to save George who’s throat got slit at some point. How he stayed alive all that time is beyond me, but we’ll let it slide since the effects, atmosphere, and overall movie is just SOOOOO well done. They make it out alive at the end and then it cuts back to the beginning of the “documentary” with Scarlett talking about her father and her mission to find the stone.
Though I wish there was more follow up on that ending, it does leave room for a sequel. Which is also good. As I mentioned, there don’t seem to be plans for a sequel, sadly, but I really hope there is. I’d like to know more about this and what exactly happened to Scarlett and George after they got out and what she did with the stone. If there were any hidden consequences of walking through hell and making it back out alive. If they actually released any sort of evil and it all stayed contained. If you are looking for a demonic, supernatural, heavily suspenseful story that is well acted and very realistic, I highly suggest this movie. It’s one of my favorites in recent years (and that’s saying a lot given that most horror movies now are utter crap or remakes).