Every found-footage cliché in the book. The film does deserve praise for creating & sustaining a palpable feeling of claustrophobia & for a scattering of powerful images (the burning car at the heart of the catacombs, the literally dizzying final shot) but the emphasis on disposable stock characters, lack of subtext & "create it as you go along" supernatural hokum makes engaging with the narrative largely pointless.
A total surprise from John Erick Dowdle showing their might be a little life in the found footage/shaky cam movie yet. A young scholar in search of the philosopher's stone travels into the Paris catacombs accompanied by a young group only to fall deeper and deeper into its depths. When she passes a threshold inscribed 'abandon all hope ye who enter here' you can pretty much guess where it is going. Dantesque
More of the same wonky-cam horror we have become accustomed to over the last fifteen years (thanks, "Blair Witch Project"). The fascinating environment of underground Paris becomes just another playground for screaming, fanciful Diffusionist archaeology and unscary frights.
This could actually work if it was more claustrophobic and less dan-brown-meets-indiana-jones-meets-found-footage. I really dug the experience of being trapped under Paris: it scared the shit out of me: but was not so impressed by all the poltergeist. Dowdle should know: simple is better.
I really enjoyed the infusion of hermeticism, Dante's Inferno, and ancient Egyptian mythos (and perhaps some more things I missed). There are scenes that call to mind The Descent. The setting is brilliant, I've always wanted to see a horror film shot in the Paris Catacombs. There are definitely a lot of shortcomings, but it's still fun to watch, especially for those interested in the subject matter it borrows from.
rewatched it a year later and i liked it a whole lot more -- there's tons of cool foreshadowing, some really neat visuals, the characters are interesting for their depth, and the setting is sick. a good found footage film -- just marred by the jump scares and the characters making poor decisions (really, ration yr lights!). i wish this had just been a silent hill game.