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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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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

One Million Years Bc

One Million Years Bc

(p.43) One Million Years Bc
The Descent

James Marriott

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines what exactly the crawlers are, and compares them to cannibalistic cave-dwellers in everything from The Mole People (Virgil V. Vogel, 1956) to Ravenous (Antonia Bird, 1999). By refusing to foreclose any potential explanation through a privileging of one particular story, Neil Marshall's The Descent (2005) leaves its options open, and the viewer wondering. Marshall used theatrical actors for the crawlers, rather than CGI, making for painstaking and lengthy make-up work. Part of the rationale behind this is to differentiate the crawlers as individuals, to give them distinguishing features. Aside from their vampiric qualities, the crawlers represent what the cavers can only ever aspire to, an instinctual state of nature. In addition, the crawlers have been seen by some critics as embodiments of a monstrous patriarchy.

Keywords:   crawlers, cave dwellers, Neil Marshall, The Descent, cavers, nature, patriarchy

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