01st Oct2021

‘It Came From Below’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Megan Purvis, Jake Watkins, Georgie Banks, Tom Taplin, Becca Hirani, Kate Sandison, Tara MacGowran, Antonia Johnstone, Howard J Davey, Stuart Packer | Written by Sam Ashurst | Directed by Dan Allen

As a kid growing up near North Yorkshire one of the few school trips we used to take were to the myriad of caves in the area, places like Stump Cross Caverns etc., At the time I used to love heading down into the dark and the damp and exploring – thinking I was just like Indiana Jones! However in later years, thanks to the likes of Neil Marshall’s The Descent, 2005’s The Cave, and a myriad of similarly set horrors; as well as realising I’m a grown man and can’t squeeze into tight confined spaces anymore, I’ve grown to really not be a fan of caves… Which is why I can really relate to It Came From Below!

The latest film for Scott Jeffrey’s Jagged Edge Productions, It Came From Below features familiar names and faces both in front of and behind the camera. Dan Allen is back in the directors chair, having previously helmed 2017’s Unhinged – which introduced me to the productions of Scott Jeffrey; whilst the film is written by Sam Ashurst, who’s probably best know to genre fans as one of the hosts of the Arrow Video Podcast. However Ashurst is actually no stranger to film writing, having penned one of the infamous “Turn Your Bloody Phone Off” PSAs that are shown at Frightfest and written Vampire Virus for another prolific UK genre filmmaker, Charlie Steeds.

It Came From Below also stars Megan Purvis, who has been a real bright spot in producer Scott Jeffrey’s recent output (she was awesome in Medusa) and here plays the films lead, a grieving daughter who loses her father following a caving incident but still insists and heading back down the caves with her friend (or is it brother, the films script is remarkably vague) Sam (Jake Watkins; Cupid, Don’t Speak), his girlfriend Joanna (Georgie Banks; The Mermaid’s Curse) and another friend Marty (Tom Taplin; Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot) who seemingly has history with Jessie (Megan Purvis). Why investigate? Why does Jessie want to know what really, really happened? Well apparently her fathers predicament is down to aliens hiding in the cave – aliens that ate the rest of Jessie’s fathers expedition!

Now if you’ve seen ANY cave-based movies then you know what happens… the proverbial sh*t hits the fan! In this case Jessie and co. make it into the caves and then weird stuff starts to happen… hallucinations; the appearance of other cavers stranded in the dark, some of whom have seemingly turned cannibal; and then there’s the alien itself – crawling around the caves like a freakish half [Ridley Scott’s] Alien, half spider. And all ugly IMHO. But the biggest issue is Jessie and her friends, who are INCREDIBLY unprepared for caving, let alone taking on an alien creature!

So what’s girl to do? Go running to park rangers of course! Well, you would unless its the two in this film, both of whom seem unwilling to help at all. For those unaware, one of the rangers is played by Becca Hirani, who has appeared on camera in a number of Scott Jeffrey’s productions’ and with good reason… she’s his co-producer Rebecca Matthews! Jeffrey’s really keeps his cadre of fellow filmmakers close – which I applaud. Especially considering that kind of “regular player” mentality was a mainstay of British genre filmmaking in the past – just look at the legendary British horror studio Hammer!

Ultimately, like fellow British caving horror The Descent, It Came From Below ends up as a last woman standing ordeal, with Purvis’ Jessie taking on the creature… whether she wins or loses is up to your interpretation of the films events!

***½  3.5/5

It Came From Below is out now on digital from Uncork’d Entertainment.

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