Catacombs (2007)

Catacombs (2007)

Below the city of lights exists a world of darkness.

Whilst visiting her sister in Paris, Victoria visits the city’s infamous catacombs where the underground rave scene is going strong. In the 200-mile strong labyrinth of tunnels lined by the skeletal remains of millions of people buried there, Victoria becomes separated from the rave and becomes lost. Soon she believes that someone or something is following her around in the dark. Or is it just her imagination playing tricks on her?

 

If there’s nothing better in a horror film than a creepy setting, it’s a creepy setting from real life. And in Catacombs, you’ve got arguably one of the creepiest real life settings to base a horror film in. The French ran out of room to bury their dead in the late 18th Century and so began burying them in the old stone mines beneath the city, turning death into literal works of art. I’ve been to the underground vaults in Edinburgh and it was a bit surreal. So imagine what it must be like to be in the catacombs of Paris with huge walls of human bones staring at you. If there’s nothing worse in a horror film, it’s for it to blow away such a great setting with terrible execution. Catacombs makes such a mistake.

Being stranded in the catacombs and in the dark is all well and good if something was actually made of that fact. However the writers of Catacombs (coincidentally the directors as well) just doesn’t use the setting to its advantage. No atmosphere is created for a setting that oozes atmosphere just by thinking about it. The damn thing is too dark half of the time and the main character suffers from a few blackouts which means the screen fades to black even more. The lighting is really bad and mainly consists of flashlights and the odd flare here and there. This takes away any visual impact that the film may have had. Other films have relied on shadows and shapes in dimly-lit settings to create a sense that there’s something else there but without ‘clues’ and pointers, there’s no way of knowing if anything is there with her. I mean the dark scares us all to a degree and being lost in the dark in a maze is something not one of us would really want to do, especially one filled with human bones and true history. But staring at a black picture and listening to people screaming soon gets annoying.

The film moves pretty quickly to begin with so it’s not long before the rave is happening and Victoria is separated from it which leads to the main part of the film. And now that the character has been separated from the rest of the world, it’s time to unleash hell. Only not quite. Nothing is unleashed. No mad monster is let loose. The character just runs around in the dark. There’s no action. There’s little chasing. There’s little excitement. There’s little anything. Just the same thing over and over again. It seems to be padding the film out as much as it can before the finale. A film that needs as much padding as this should never have been given the green light. It could have worked as a short story but not as a main feature. Its little wonder to find it had a chequered history with cinematic releases, being free-to-air on the web site and eventually finding a home on DVD.

Shannon Sossamon is a decent actress but in dimly lit sets and a with a terrible script, the most daunting task she faces is having to keep making it look like she’s really scared and tired and not bored out of her head. She basically falls and crawls around a lot, screams plenty of times and keeps saying the same things over and over. It’s hardly the most challenging role and any airhead could have done it because you hardly see her at all anyway, just hear her voice in the darkness.

The name Alecia Moore may not be overly familiar to you but if I said the name Pink, then I can see the light bulb going off in your head. Using her real name to appear in this and leaving behind her musical alter ego, Moore isn’t too bad in the underwritten part of the sister. It’s not exactly the sort of role that will bridge the gap between music and movies and if any big executives ever watched this rubbish, they’re more likely to offer her a few more album deals to stop her from appearing in any more trash. The rest of the cast is filled with token English-speaking French actors who serve no purpose other to party and drink.

 

Catacombs is dreadfully dull, slow and monotonous. If people screaming in the dark is your thing, then switch off the lights the next time you’re having a house party. It’s guaranteed to be scarier and infinitely more exciting than this sluggish drivel.

 

 ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

Related Movies

One single comment

  1. OuranGirl4 says:

    If I could rate this movie on a scale from 1 to 10 it would be a 4 because it was pretty bad. Don’t get me wrong, the only good scenes were the party ones. Carolyn is pretty much the only likeable character in the film. Everyone else is annoying and unlikeable. When I saw this movie I was like “Sorry Carolyn, Being Portrayed by one of the best singers of all time won’t help you forget that you’re in this borefest that could have been way better”. But the actors and the acting were decent and the plot was original but there could’ve been more stuff like more tension and suspense. But anyways it had its moments.

Post a comment