The Descent – Jump Scare – Night Vision Scene

As you know I’m partial to a jump scare and having just rewatched one of my all time favourite horror movies The Descent I’m reminded of one of my all time favourite Jump scares. Enjoy!

The Descent is a 2005 British horror film directed by Neil Marshall. The film features a group of female friends who decide to go on a caving expedition in the Appalachian Mountains. Needless to say it does not go well! The Descent also features in My Best Creature Features of the Noughties list if you are looking for some viewing inspiration.

One of the most memorable scenes from The Descent is the Night Vision scene.

The hellish colour palette of reds and greens pierced by the dwindling torch beams of the climbers’ helmet lights used throughout The Descent plays a significant role in creating a sense of unease and increasing the tension for the audience. In this scene – trapped and lost in the dark with panic escalating the use of tight, handheld camera work and low-lighting techniques amplifies the sense of fear until it is almost unbearable. The use of a night vision camera is highly effective, creating a sense of claustrophobia and vulnerability with the limited visibility of the camera meaning the audience is only able to see what the character sees. The camera’s green filter, which is being used to amplify the available light in the darkness, provides an eerie glow to everything, making it difficult to discern shapes and movements. 

The sound design with the dripping cave and sound of frightened breathing then the sudden and loud scream of the creature is classic jump scare material. And I’ve always admired the creature design in The Descent something about the way they are so very close to human but move in this weird muscular almost reptilian way. With it appearing as it does behind her and framed by the camara really creeps me out even now when I know its coming!

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