Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Shannyn Sossamon, Pink, Emil Hostina, Sandi Dragoi, Mihai Stanescu
Directors: David Elliot, Tomm Coker
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Special Interests
No Description Available. Genre: Horror Rating: UN Release Date: 19-FEB-2008 Media Type: DVD
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(2.5 STARS) Terror Underneath Paris: A Much Better Film Buri
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 01/18/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Catacombs" (produced by Lions Gate Films / Twisted Pictures) stars Shannyn Sossamon as Victoria, slightly nervous American girl who has just arrived in Paris. Victoria visits her fun-loving sister Carolyn (Alecia Moore aka Pink) who with her friends in Paris drags timid Victoria down to the illegal party (like a rock concert) secretly thrown in Paris catacombs.
This is where the remains of seven-million people sleep in the maze of tunnels and graves, a creepy subterranean network that spans nearly 200 miles in length. For Victoria, however, things get serious when she gets lost there and runs into something very strange. Victoria must find out a way to get out of this place, but what can she do alone in the dark?
The story of "Catacombs" fairly looks like the 2004 horror film "Creep" (starring Franka Potente) or the 2005 thriller "The Descent" (far scarier than the other two). The difference is the nice choice of the location. The realistic production designs (the "Paris catacombs" were actually constructed in the soundstage in Romania) are fantastic, but sadly director Tomm Coker and David Elliot fail to use the claustrophobic atmosphere to the full.
For Victoria screams a lot and runs around in the maze, but the film itself is hardly scary. The pretty simple story, which has a potential of becoming a more gripping thriller, suddenly stops going further until the very ending which you will either love or hate.
I don't know why, but Shannyn Sossamon keeps appearing in horror films - "The Order" "Devour" and ... "One Missed Call." I don't think her acting here is bad though it is not great either. My impression may have something to do with the character she plays because you may (and I did) find the character of Victoria a bit annoying. Yes, fear brings out the worst in people, but does that have to be shown in this way? Alecia Moore fares better as her sister, who plays a key role in the film, but the time allotted to her character is not very long.
Frankly I was disappointed with "Catacombs" because I expected more from the film; something original and new. In fact the film has one, but you have to wait for that very long. The film, which as far as I know was not shown in theaters in USA, is not a terrible disaster, but could be much better if shorter and tighter."
Catacombs - Watchable But Not Very Good
Mark | East Coast | 10/08/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Catacombs is a movie that can be enjoyed as mindless entertainment but will not satisfy hardcore horror fans. In some senses, the movie has an entertaining quality to it. But the typical mistakes of B-horror will drive you crazy if you can't help but pick your horror movies apart. We all want to be frightened by horror, but we need that scare to be believable in order to buy into it. This movie is only believable in the sense that the characters, like people we all know, are very, very dumb.
This movie is very similar to The Blair Witch Project. There are no special effects to speak of. There's a lot of screaming, running, darkness and flashing lights to distract you. Yet not a lot happens. It's not really scary per se. The film does build up some angst with those techniques, but only if you are easily startled or have weak nerves. If you liked The Blair Witch Project, you may really enjoy this. If you thought that was silly, just move on.
If you've read the synopsis you know that the film takes place in the underground catacombs of Paris. They really do exist, although not in the way they are depicted in the movie. The set is well put together considering the budget. And they are in Paris after all! Yet despite the beautiful location, the film is visually mediocre with no special cinematography to speak of. A shot of the Eiffel Tower fully lit is the best you'll get.
The script makes a little bit of sense when you get to the end. Yet the way the plot is resolved leaves the character's actions making no sense. Still, I would say most people will find the *twist* at the end to be predictable, though there are many possible endings based upon the way the first half is set up.
The consistency of the locale is never really maintained. Even though they are in Paris, we see writing on the wall in English. Not to mention people give speeches in English, the French talk to each other in English, and then the main character ... meets a guy who speaks only French. What? If they were going to translate everything into English, that would have been one thing. But the inconsistency, while not a deal breaker, is a sign of a mediocre script.
I like Shannyn Sossamon as Victoria. I think she has some talent, though I don't think she is at her best here. It's hard to think of that as a positive but it might be all things considered.
Plenty of the acting is mediocre to bad, but most of the movie is so focused on the Victoria character that it isn't as big of a liability. Even at 50%, she carries this movie. When you have terrible lines to deliver, it doesn't make acting any easier. The supporting cast is generally just OK. I don't think that Pink is as bad as people say, but she's not exactly great either. The lines are especially weak in the final sequence where everything gets explained.
When you do reach the conclusion, there are many questions left unanswered. Granted the cast is disposed of quite easily. But it's never clear how our heroine, who is lost for most of the movie, finally gets out of the catacombs.
If you are looking for mindless horror for a Friday night, this might do the trick. This is no masterpiece, but it's better than many B-horror movies. However, it's still a B-horror movie. There is very little in terms of unintended humor. The saving grace is that is over quick.
If you are picky about the details in your horror movies, don't expect too much from this one. This is more of a thriller than a pure horror movie, but at times it tries to be both. Rent this before buying the DVD.
This might be a three star movie for those who seek mindless diversion. For me it just misses the cut. And while it wasn't the worst I've seen, I would not seek it out for another viewing.
A Surprisingly Entertaining and Gripping Flick
Curmudgeon99 | Manhattan, NY | 03/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I did not expect this movie to deliver as much as it did. After a slightly slow start, this movie held me by the throat the whole way. One caveat: only watch this movie at night with all the lights turned off."
It will require some effort, but you should hang around for
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 03/01/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Since I am flying off to the City of Lights a week from today I thought watching a horror movie set beneath the streets of Paris in the city's famous catacombs seemed like an appropriate choice for last night's late night fare. However, this 2007 films from the writer-director tag team of Tomm Coker and David Elliot is not actually filmed in the catacombs of Paris, it is merely set there. Too bad, because I figure that there is no way on earth (or beneath it) that my wife is going to want to spend any of her first trip to Paris looking at thousands and thousands of skulls and bones.
"Catacombs" begins with an ominous voice over from Victoria (Shannyn Sossamon), who explains: "My sister sent me a postcard. All it said was, 'Come to Paris. It will be good for you.' Forty-eight hours after I arrived, she and everyone I'd met were dead." Such foreshadowing hardly constitutes spoilers in this genre, so Victoria meets up with her sister Carolyn (Alecia Moore, a.k.a. Pink) and her group of wacky bohemian friends. After a day of shopping Carolyn and her friends drag Victoria to a secret rave that takes place in the catacombs that night. There they meet up with Jean-Michel (Mihai Stanescu), who tells Victoria the story of a deranged killer raised by a satanic cult who feeds on those poor souls who get lost in the catacombs. This, as all devotees of the horror genre know, is the sort of convenient exposition that are a staple of such films, taken as a joke or urban legend, but, of course, necessary background information for what is about to take place. It does not take long for Victoria to become separated from her sister and lost in the catacombs, so the merriment can begin.
The problem is that things slow down after the initial attack. There is, I suppose, some effort to take advantage of the setting as a labyrinth in which our heroine is lost, but nothing that follows is particularly interesting. At least if this were happening in the real catacombs of Paris that would be interesting, but the sets are just sets (in Romania no less). Since Victoria is separate from everybody she met and we are focusing on what is happening to her, which sort of limits the opportunities for blood and gore, which helps contribute to the lethargy of the middle part of the film (during which time you keep trying to wrap your mind around the idea that Sossamon and Pink are sisters). But you should keep watching because the best part of this film is the ending, which may be entirely relatively. After watching hundreds of horror films that have laughable or less than laudable endings, I liked the way this one comes round full-circle to Victoria's ominous words at the start. Too bad the ride along the circumference is not worth the trip."