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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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Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.109) Conclusion
Source:
The Descent
Author(s):

James Marriott

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781906733711.003.0011

This chapter summarises the principle theories applied to the reading of Neil Marshall's The Descent (2005), placing them in the context of the genre's efficacy at addressing the compulsion to control and manage trauma. On the face of it, The Descent is not quite up to the standard of the horror classics it seeks to emulate. Arguably, the overly frenetic fight scenes and the uneven tone keep The Descent from being a true horror classic. So why should we pay it so much attention? The Descent is interesting historically as one of the most critically and commercially successful releases in the recent British horror boom. Trauma can be revisited and, this time, controlled, through art. While other films explore the trauma of birth through scenes of incubation, hosting, and pregnancy gone wrong, The Descent takes as its central motif a far more universal theme, that of the trauma of being born.

Keywords:   Neil Marshall, The Descent, horror genre, trauma, horror classics, British horror boom, birth

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