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-   -   The Descent: Influence on Tomb Raider (https://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=223426)

Grizzly Bear 13-09-19 17:13

The Descent: Influence on Tomb Raider
 
Warning! This thread focuses on the 2005 horror movie "The Descent", so if you're under 18 years old or if you find horror movies/violence and gore disturbing, don't read this and avoid the pictures!

"The Descent" is a horror movie that came out in 2005 and it quickly became a cult movie. Personally I consider it one of my favourite movies so I've been thinking about writing a deep analysis of its influence on the Tomb Raider reboot trilogy for a very long time; finally I've found some time so let's begin!

1) Ok, the first one is an obvious one, the iconic blood pool scene from TR13, it was really a clever easter egg (fun fact: in "The Descent" there is an easter egg to Tomb Raider, in fact one of the characters, Beth, mentions it before entering the cave, she actually says something like "I'm a teacher, not a Tomb Raider").

https://www.tombraiderforums.com/pic...ictureid=13340

2) Another semi-direct reference to the movie is when Lara escapes the scavenger's cave at the beginning of TR13, the whole scene when she climbs her way out of the cave is very reminiscent of the same climb made by Sarah at the end of the movie.

https://www.tombraiderforums.com/pic...ictureid=13336
https://www.tombraiderforums.com/pic...ictureid=13337

Now, let's move on with the less direct references/influences;

3) Climbing Axes
Climbing axes are common tools among climbers, but they're mostly used to climb on ice.
Both "The Descent" and Tomb Raider feature climbing axes to climb even not-icy surfaces.
Another aspect is the use of climbing axes as a waepon, this is something extremely rare but it really worked on both franchises, especially for Tomb Raider (Reboot Lara's red axes are probably more iconic than her bow at this point).

https://www.tombraiderforums.com/pic...ictureid=13332

4) The "creatures"
"The Descent" features the crawlers, and these creatures have some similar examples in the Tomb Raider latest trilogy, like the cannibal prisoners in the geothermal caverns (TR13) or the Yaaxil (Shadow).

https://www.tombraiderforums.com/pic...ictureid=13338
https://www.tombraiderforums.com/pic...ictureid=13335


5) Narrow passages/claustrophobia
A lot of the anxiety that comes from "The Descent" has been achieved through the clever use of narrow passages and the conseguent claustrophobia feeling. In the Reboot trilogy there are lots of examples of this, especially in Shadow.

https://www.tombraiderforums.com/pic...ictureid=13339

6) Piles of bones/corpses
Both "The Descent" and "Tomb Raider" made a wide use of gore and blood; caves filled with dead bodies and bones really managed to make some of the environments scary and intimidating.

https://www.tombraiderforums.com/pic...ictureid=13334
https://www.tombraiderforums.com/pic...ictureid=13333

7) Lara's overall appearence and some traits of her personality
Sarah and Lara (I think it's interesting that their names are similar, too!) have very similar outfits, especially after Sarah loses her jacket/helmet.

They shares some similarities even with their personality/story:
-they both love extreme sports/adventure,
-they've experienced deep losses in their lives (Sarah lost her husband and her daughter, Lara lost her parents),
-they have to survive in a dangerous environment after their expeditions go wrong and they lose lots of friends/companions in the process.

https://www.tombraiderforums.com/pic...ictureid=13341

8) "A survivor is born"
The theme of turning from a scared girl into a ruthless survivor is present in both franchises, both Lara and Sarah have moments when they almost lose their human side and become unstoppable savage killers in order to survive at any cost (Sarah's final fight reminds me of when Lara hunts Trinity down after Lara and Jonah get separated in Shadow, right before of the Pourvenir field section).

https://www.tombraiderforums.com/pic...ictureid=13343

9) (Credit to LateRaider)
Camilla said when they were casting for Lara, she was told she'd be voicing a character named "Sarah" if she got the part.

Conclusion
I belive that TR13 was heavily inspired by "The Descent" in many aspects, maybe without that movie we wouldn't even have the Reboot or it would have been very different.
Personally I think it really helped in creating that "turning point" feeling in the franchise and it's nice to see that as Lara progresses and become more and more skilled/mature, the series is slowly going away from "The Descent" influence.
I wish some of the things inspired by the movie stay, though, for example the first meeting with the Yaaxil or the scary/narrow caves were amazing in Shadow, and those things could easily still be present even with a more matured and prepared Lara.

So what do you think about "The Descent" and its deep influence on the Reboot trilogy?

PS: If you're not familiar with the movie, here's the trailer, just to get an idea:

leoarcie 13-09-19 18:53

I love this movie

VictorXD 13-09-19 19:11

The Descent is an excellent movie! I love it. We can totally ignore the existence of the second movie though...

CD have never been shy on saying that The Descent was one of their top inspirations when making the reboot. I remember back in 2010 when it was announced and everyone was saying how similar it looked and during interviews the devs said it was a major source of material for them. I then got excited to watch it to see what it was about and I have 0 regrets.

Grizzly Bear 13-09-19 19:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by VictorXD (Post 8131156)
The Descent is an excellent movie! I love it. We can totally ignore the existence of the second movie though...

I still have to watch the second movie because it never came out in Italy :(
But everyone says it's not good so maybe I haven't missed much, but I think I have to find a way to watch it anyway...

VictorXD 13-09-19 20:14

Oooh no please don't! It's an affront to the first movie and it's just a horrible experience all around. It's like a bad fan made parody. And I mean it, there's no exaggeration here at all.

A bad movie, a terrible sequel and an even worse waste of time.

I really wish I hadn't watched it, as all it does is damage the first movie's overall impression. It feels cheapened somehow.

It's not even worth a watch out of curiosity, seriously.

Grizzly Bear 13-09-19 20:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by VictorXD (Post 8131171)
Oooh no please don't! It's an affront to the first movie and it's just a horrible experience all around. It's like a bad fan made parody. And I mean it, there's no exaggeration here at all.

A bad movie, a terrible sequel and an even worse waste of time.

I really wish I hadn't watched it, as all it does is damage the first movie's overall impression. It feels cheapened somehow.

It's not even worth a watch out of curiosity, seriously.

Ok this sounds much worse than I thought! So I'm going to take the fact that it was never published in Italy as a "divine" sign and I'm not going to watch it :D

To be honest I've only watched a random clip on YouTube in which they had to cut a man's arm with the axe because he was about to fall and he would have made Sarah fall since they were linked.
I mean, it wasn't bad but it was just a couple of minutes without context so I can't really have an opinion of it.

VictorXD 14-09-19 03:23

Aah yes, I remember that part. Not too pleasant :p

But yeah, the 2nd movie takes everything that is good about the first one and just destroys it. Even though the director of the sequel worked on the first movie as well he did not understand a single thing of what made the first one so special in the first place. Instead of a character-centric tragic story, all we get is gore and cheap horror with stereotypical and lousy characters.

Just so you can get an idea of how bad it is: they decided to redo the blood pool scene, but this time with a (badly made) fight and they replaced the blood with.... Yup, you guessed it. Poop. Instead of being shocked and amazed by the scene like we are in the original, we are just shocked, embarrassed and disgusted. And I don't know about anyone else, but quite a bit of questioning my life's choices at that point too.
They literally s***** all over one of the most iconic scenes of the first movie. They took something great and made it ****. In hindsight, it's rather fitting and symbolical portrayal of the sequel :p

Cat Woman 14-09-19 15:22

Grizzly Bear - thanks for the analogy. I enjoyed reading the comparisons and the photos and the Descent trailer (as a refresher to the movie). :tmb:

_Seth 14-09-19 19:13

Am I the only one who hated this film? I found it unenjoyable in every aspect with not one single redeeming quality. So I guess the 2013 game faithfully paid homage to it, then, since my feelings on the game's presentation match.

Amunet 14-09-19 20:17

Quote:

Originally Posted by _Seth (Post 8131450)
Am I the only one who hated this film? I found it unenjoyable in every aspect with not one single redeeming quality. So I guess the 2013 game faithfully paid homage to it, then, since my feelings on the game's presentation match.

No, you're not the only one. I hated it as well and I definitely hate how much of an influence it was on TR2013.

Samz 15-09-19 22:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amunet (Post 8131470)
No, you're not the only one. I hated it as well and I definitely hate how much of an influence it was on TR2013.

While I haven't seen it, to be honest? some of these influcences were the worst moments in 2013 for me, the blood bath, massive amounts of blood and guts and the cannibal prisoners.

Ellioft 16-09-19 16:17

I think they wanted to use it as well in the movie remember Himiko's family buried with her and becoming albinos monsters after they reproduced and eat themselves to survive ?

UroshUchiha 17-09-19 11:27

Oh wow thanks for the comparison screenshots! I love this movie and I honestly never noticed the similarities until now.

Grizzly Bear 18-09-19 07:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by UroshUchiha (Post 8132139)
Oh wow thanks for the comparison screenshots! I love this movie and I honestly never noticed the similarities until now.

You're welcome! I'm glad you've found it interesting :)

TrustyBow 18-09-19 13:24

Interesting analysis!

I saw the movie after I played the reboot games but I didn't know going in that the movie had an influence on TR13. When I saw the main character use an axe, I was like "Lara! That's Lara!" That combined with the pool of blood scene, I figured there was no way that this could be a coincidence. I looked it up and my suspicions were confirmed.

I think it was a great movie to take inspiration from, as it really captures the feeling of going on an adventure that turns into a horror/survival experience. The movie itself is really good and probably one of my favorite horror films.

RICER ACCORDV6 18-10-19 23:13

tr did it better lol

Lord Insidious 27-10-19 19:11

Great movie!

Linoshi Croft 31-10-19 19:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by RICER ACCORDV6 (Post 8141770)
tr did it better lol

Ha, no.

I was actually rooting for the lead towards the end of the descent and actually felt empathetic towards her unlike Lara.

Tombraider95 04-11-19 23:11

For a game named "Survivor" this would have fitted perfectly! For "Tomb Raider"... No. I do like the first movie though.

LateRaider 06-11-19 23:39

whats interesting is i remember camilla saying when they were casting for lara, she was told she'd be voicing a character named "sarah" if she got the part. an obscure piece of trivia but hey

Grizzly Bear 07-11-19 14:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by LateRaider (Post 8149671)
whats interesting is i remember camilla saying when they were casting for lara, she was told she'd be voicing a character named "sarah" if she got the part. an obscure piece of trivia but hey

That's really interesting! Thanks!

I think I'm going to add it to the main post (I'm going to give credit to you if course :)).

If you don't approve it just tell me and then I will remove it as soon as possible.

LateRaider 07-11-19 19:14

Yeah its ok! Go for it. I'll see if i can find the article too

https://www.google.com/amp/s/ew.com/...uddington/amp/

Grizzly Bear 07-11-19 21:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by LateRaider (Post 8149959)
Yeah its ok! Go for it. I'll see if i can find the article too

https://www.google.com/amp/s/ew.com/...uddington/amp/

Thanks again!

And also, reading that article now that the trilogy is over was such a nice read, it's crazy how time flies!

suli 14-11-19 13:18

Great, great film. One of my all time favorites. If it didn't exist Reboot would be a completely different game.


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