This weekend at the movies, theatergoers have a thriller set in the Paris catacombs, a spy movie starring a former Bond, and a rerelease of an old comedy favorite to choose from, though if seeing Ghostbusters for the upteenth time doesn’t sound appealing, then the pickings are a bit slim in terms of anything that’s performing well with the critics. It also looks like it might be yet another slow weekend at the box office during an already dry summer, and the blockbusters Guardians of the Galaxy or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles could again take the top spots despite having been released weeks ago.
As for new movies debuting this weekend, As Above, So Below is a horror thriller about souls trapped in the Paris catacombs and The November Man is an action thriller starring Pierce Brosnan. As Above, So Below utilizes the very creepy setting of the bone-lined tunnels below Paris for a found-footage style horror movie about a group of 20-somethings that decides to go exploring there. The PhD-and-black-belt-in-Capoeira-holding Scarlett leads the expedition, which is a continuation of her father’s work to find the legendary philosopher’s stone, apparently hidden below the City of Lights.
Critics haven’t been impressed, with the movie currently holding a 40 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s been criticized for its heavy use of cliches, bad storytelling, and generally not being scary. “‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here,’ is the inscription uncovered by a gang of 20-something treasure hunters in the catacomb-hopping horror flick, As Above, So Below. But the warning could easily apply to viewers checking out this rather hopeless mash-up of The Descent and [Rec], not to mention a dozen other found-footage movies that have clogged the screens over the last five years,” reads a review by The Hollywood Reporter, which also pointed out that the PhD-holding main character doesn’t even recognize Dante as the quote’s author.