What is Down Under about?

Downstairs is a 2013 American horror film directed by Larry Fessenden. Everyone who has ever seen the films “Jaws” or “Friday the 13th” already knows exactly the plot of this unpretentious horror.

Let’s turn to the plot and try to make out the meaning of the film “Downstairs”. A group of teenagers celebrate their graduation and go to the lake to relax and go canoeing. Further action unfolds exactly according to the canon of the horror genre about teenagers on the lake. They meet an old man who once knew the grandfather of one of the heroes. He warns them that teenagers must show respect for the lake, otherwise it will begin to take revenge on them.

Of course, friends do not heed this advice: they drink, light sparklers, make noise. As a result, when they are in the boat, something large drags one oar under the water. The guys are trying to get the paddle back when a girl named Deb is bitten on the arm by a giant fish. She bleeds out and dies. The monster itself, despite the fact that it is the main danger, is not shown in the frame too often. Moreover, it is not always the main cause of death in adolescents. In most cases, the characters die because of their own mistakes, as a result of a quarrel, or by an absurd accident.

The group dumps Deb’s body into the water in an attempt to distract the fish. In the boat, the teenagers quarrel: they accuse one of them that he knew about the danger lurking in the water, and even want to throw him overboard. The accused boyfriend, Johnny, had previously tried to give the girl Kitty a necklace of teeth, which was an amulet. Kitty refused the gift, thinking that the young man was trying to confess his love to her. Now she accuses him of knowing in advance about the need for a talisman. Johnny decides to leave the group and jumps into the water. He swims towards the shore, pursued by an underwater monster. Meanwhile, the teenagers on the boat continue to bicker and blame each other.

As a result of their skirmishes, another teenager is thrown overboard and eaten by a fish. Johnny still managed to get to shore. He returns in a motorboat to save his friends. But in the end, Johnny dies himself, strangled by a rope caught around his neck. Kitty gets the chance to save the guy, but never cuts the rope, further confirming the stereotype of the nasty nature of teenagers in such horror films. Oddly enough, the fish do not eat his body. Several more people fall overboard as a result of skirmishes, one of them, Simon, swims to shore. Kitty, who accused Johnny earlier, takes the necklace from his neck: it really turns out to be a talisman, and the fish immediately eats the guy’s body. Putting on the necklace, Kitty swims to shore, where Simon drowns her in a fit of rage.

The ending of the film “Downstairs” is as predictable as the whole plot. The only survivor, Simon, meets an old man who warned them of danger and says that everyone is dead. The old man, who clearly knows more than everyone else, regrets Johnny’s death and forces the teenager back into the water, where he is promptly swallowed up by a monstrous fish.

The meaning of the finale of the film “Downstairs” is in the continuation of the same cinematic tracing paper: everything that happens is as if according to the points of the textbook, in which typical characters and the sinister end of their adventures are spelled out. It is worth noting that the film “Down” is not just a copy of hundreds of horror films like it. This is rather a sarcastic statement by the director, who is ironic about the established form of this genre.

In addition to the classic set of characters, teenagers, among which are easily accessible girls, aggressive athletes and modest guys, there are many references to the already mentioned films “Friday the 13th” and “Jaws”. For example, the girl Deb, who was killed at the very beginning, has the surname Voorhees – which directly refers to the famous maniac from Friday the 13th.

Critics, due to the incredible secondary plot, took the picture negatively. The director was accused of not noticing how terrible his tape turned out to be, and that the film was released solely so that he could “pay his bills.” However, some critics appreciated the director’s flirtations with the horror genre and his attempts to make something more out of the next copy of the standard American horror.

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