Miles of twisting catacombs lie beneath the streets of Paris, the eternal home to countless souls. When a team of explorers ventures into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead.
A journey into madness and terror, Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ new horror-thriller “As Above, So Below” reaches deep into the human psyche to reveal the personal demons that come back to haunt us all.
Written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle (“Quarantine,” “Devil”) and directed by John Erick Dowdle, “As Above, So Below” will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide starting Oct. 22, 2014.
In the film, Scarlett Marlowe (Perdita Weeks), a rebellious adventurer and brilliant archaeologist, has devoted her entire life to pursuing history’s greatest hidden treasure: Flamel’s Philosopher’s Stone. According to legend, this elusive artifact can turn metal into pure gold and grant eternal life-a power beyond imagination.
Tormented by the unsettling suicide of her father and rumors of his insanity, Scarlett is driven to the point of obsession: She will never be complete until she finishes his work and restores his legacy.
A series of cryptic puzzles leads her to discover that the all-powerful stone lies beneath the streets of Paris, hidden within the world’s largest crypt: the Catacombs.
To document her historic mission, Scarlett recruits her old flame and partner in crime, George (Ben Feldman) – a brilliant archaeologist in his own right who is dedicated to restoring historical monuments to their former glory-as well as amateur filmmaker Benji (Eedwin Hodge) – a claustrophobic cameraman unaware of how deep this journey will take him.
Knowing the dangers that lie beneath, the trio scours the City of Light and recruits a team of underground experts known as Cataphiles to guide the way.
With the rest of Scarlett’s crew – Papillon (Francois Civil), the leader of the pack; Souxie (Marion Lambert), the punk-rock protector of the group; and Zed (Ali Marhyar), the strong and silent one – assembled, they begin their descent. Although each of them carries a secret, in the Catacombs, no one can outrun their past.
A brief history of the Catacombs:
Fascinatingly, there are more corpses buried underneath the streets of Paris than there are people living above it – forming a vast labyrinth of skeletal remains, claustrophobic tunnels and seemingly endless darkness.
The Catacombs of Paris confront our most primal and deep-seated phobias: fear of the dark, fear of being alone, fear of enclosed spaces and fear of being trapped. This largely unexplored tunnel system has fascinated historians, explorers and storytellers for centuries, with a timeless mystery-what treasures and terrors lie within?
Nearly five stories underground lies the remains of more than six million people-more than double the population of Paris-who have been forever entombed in the Catacombs of Paris. When visitors enter the Catacombs, they are greeted with the written verse “Arrete! C’est ici l’empire de la mort,” which means “Stop! This is the empire of death.”
Beginning in the 17th century, as the city of Paris was growing rapidly, cemeteries were running out of spaces to bury the dead. In fact, they were so overcrowded that corpses became uncovered, resulting to putrid smells of rotting bodies.
However, it wasn’t until 1780 that something was actually done about the public health problem. After an extended period of rainfall, a wall around Les Innocents collapsed, sending decomposing corpses flowing into the neighborhood. That led to Louis XVI championing the crusade to begin moving bodies underground into Paris’ old quarries. It took 12 years to move the six million corpses-with some more than 1,200 years old – into the Catacombs. Indeed, the French Revolution signaled the beginning of burying bodies directly into the Catacombs, though this practice ended in 1860.
Although the Catacombs’ mazes and tunnels cover more than an astonishing 180 miles under the streets of Paris, only a small portion (approximately one mile) is open to the public; the vast majority is cordoned off for being too dangerous…but for some urban explorers, that is part of the appeal.
Literally a city of death, it is hard to imagine a location closer to hell. This iconic landmark is so forbidding it has remained largely unexplored. Until now…