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Trivia / The Descent

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  • Ability over Appearance: Juno is played by Natalie Mendoza who is of Spanish and Filipina descent (her appearance mostly reflects the latter). But she wasn't written as an Asian character.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Natalie Mendoza was the one who suggested that Juno and Sarah's husband Paul should have an affair.
  • Acting for Two:
    • A prop example. They only had one cabin, so they had to use camera tricks and prop switching to make it look like there were two.
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    • Leslie Simpson played two Crawlers and got killed on screen twice.
  • Acting in the Dark: The cast were not told about the crawlers. When they finally met one in the movie the first take was of them all running off the set screaming.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Natalie Mendoza loved that Juno wasn't written to be Asian, which in her words in the behind the scenes, allowed her to play a fully thought-out character whose Asian ethnicity is never brought up in any stereotypical manner. She also liked how the characters were all written well-enough to avoid caricatures since slasher horror is very formulaic.
  • California Doubling: Set in America (aside from the beginning of the movie), filmed in England and Scotland.
  • Cameo Prop: Sarah finds a wolf's head, which is a prop from Dog Soldiers.
  • Completely Different Title: The Danish title for the movie is Descent Into Hell.
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  • Distanced from Current Events: The 2005 Underground bombings in London threatened to delay the film's British release, for fear that this trope would keep people away from a film about death below ground. Eventually the film was released on schedule, but posters of a lone woman trapped and screaming in the dark were replaced by new ones of all six women standing united against it.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: The actresses underwent rock climbing training and white water rafting, and even did actual caving underground to prepare for the film. They "kept fit" as Shauna Macdonald said. And Nora-Jane Noone cut her hair for film, which she joked was traumatic for the first week or two afterwards.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • Intended, at least. Neil Marshall attempted this by not letting the main cast see the crawlers until they were revealed on camera. However, it backfired when they got such a fright they all ran away for real, out of the shot and across the set. Even long after the first encounter the actresses hated being around the crawlers in costume.
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    • Even after the reveal, he kept the actresses separate from them most of the time to keep up the feeling of animosity.
    • Shauna Macdonald is claustrophobic anyway, making the scenes where Sarah is trapped in a tunnel very easy (or not) for her.
  • Fake American: Natalie Mendoza is British-Australian, playing the American girl Juno.
  • Fake Nationality: Sam, who is Dutch, is played by Myanna Buring, who is Swedish.
  • Looping Lines: A good chunk of the dialogue had to be dubbed in, because the sets were polystyrene and sure didn't sound like a cave or rock while they were walking or moving around on it.
  • No Stunt Double: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza and Alex Reid did the entire white water rafting sequence on their own without any stunt doubles or special effects.
  • Production Nickname: The jokey production name given during filming was Chicks with Picks.
  • Production Posse: Leslie Simpson played some of the Crawlers, and has also starred in Neil Marshall's Dog Soldiers.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Early in development, it was planned to have a mixed gender cast. Neil Marshall changed it to all-female when he signed on to direct - opting to do the reverse of the majority male cast from Dog Soldiers. He'd also discovered during his research that caving was often more popular with women, so an all-female group made more sense.
    • The Crawlers were designed initially with pure white skin that would be phosphorescent - but they were made grubbier so as to blend into the shadows (the original look was deemed too bright and reflective). They also were going to be more animalistic, but redesigns made them more humanoid.

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