It seems like never before that cinéma vérité is a format used in many horror and genre films over this past year. One could probably lose count. John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle are no stranger to the median. Two of their prior films, the unreleased Poughkeepsie Tapes and the English language remake of Rec entitled Quarantine, show they have a good footing into the subgenre. Now in 2014, they have made a new film, As Above So Below, getting wide release throughout many nations.
The film is about a young scholar named Scarlett who decides to continue and pursue the work of her father in the search of the notorious Philosopher’s Stone. Her research brings her to Paris, France and the history surrounding a 14th century Parisian scientist named Nicolas Flamel. After working with another scholar who she once had a relationship with, the two along with their documentarian, hire a group of local guides that will bring them through the Catacombs of Paris below the city streets searching the necropolis to six million people in hopes of finding the mysterious and valuable artifact.
Your hosts discuss this new widely released film and whether the fantastic concept of adventure seekers exploring one of the most surreal monuments to a city’s forefathers holds up to the spook factor. Included is a discussion of the success of the Dowdle brothers, this movie in comparison to other found footage films, and what determines whether a film will get a theatrical run or simply be released straight to disc or video on demand.