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The Descent$
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James Marriott

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733711

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733711.001.0001

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(p.9) Introduction
The Descent

James Marriott

Liverpool University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005). By the end of the millennium, it was easy to think that horror was a spent force. But by the middle of the 2000s, things looked different. British critic Alan Jones coined the term the 'Splat Pack' to describe a group of directors — including Neil Marshall — who were making films that were throwbacks, indeed often explicit homages, to a 1970s US independent horror sensibility. The phrase caught on and the film industry paid attention: these movies were cheap to make and sold extremely well. However, the most commercially successful of them tended towards a cartoonish posturing. Fortunately, not all the films celebrated under the 'Splat Pack' rubric were so throwaway; some of the more intelligent, effective works even did well at the box office. To some viewers, The Descent marked a true return to form. The chapter then presents a brief background of Neil Marshall.

Keywords:   The Descent, Neil Marshall, horror genre, Splat Pack, US independent horror

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