I am a huge horror movie fan, but lately I've been slightly underwhelmed by the genre's recent offerings. That's one of the reasons why I am so very excited for the new film As Above So Below — yes, it's shot in "found footage" style (think Paranormal Activity) but it's got a killer concept that I couldn't shake, even though I kind of wish that I could. The film is about a team of explorers who venture into the catacombs underneath Paris, where they are confronted by terrifying visions of their past — essentially, their own personal hell. To promote the film, the film's website has just put up an interactive game where you are a character in the haunted catacombs. You'll want to navigate your way through the online catacombs with your sound turned low and your friends standing somewhere near by — it's kind of freaky, just like the movie promises to be.
Perhaps the most disturbing (yet also kind of laughable?) aspect of the game is that it connects to your Facebook account, which means it has access to photos and your friends list. It's essentially more of a video than a game — all you do once you begin Personal Hell is watch "yourself" go down into the catacombs — but what makes the game standout is that it incorporates your own Facebook information. I was chased by a demon holding my profile photo in her hand and came face to face with a wall of photos from my most recent New Year's Eve. Scary? Not really. (Though I did cringe at some of the photos I was tagged in.)
Somewhat insulting was the list of traits that were painted in blood on the wall — among them "clingy" and "moody" — and while I at first thought perhaps this collected from an analysis of my Facebook movie selections, I realized that it was most likely a set of characteristics associated with my astrological sign. Either way... low blow, As Above So Below.
Even though the film's interactive game did dish out some real talk, the trip through the catacombs was still a pretty cool virtual experience. I've been to Paris where I spent the majority of my trip eating brie and macaroons, but now I seriously regret not venturing underneath the city. According to ParisLogue, the catacombs have been a tourist attraction since they were created in the mid 1700s. Almost seven million people are buried in the catacombs, which were created to combat the improper burial techniques that created health problems in the city. (Umm, gross.)
But if you were looking for a haunted excursion a la As Above So Below, you may want to think twice about visiting. According to ParisLogue, people have been venturing into the catacombs for years and have never been sucked down into their own personal hells — in fact, the catacombs went through a renovation in 2008 so that they could be safer for tourists. If you're planning a trip to Paris, definitely check out this cool (if not also very creepy) attraction — you probably won't die. Even though I'm pretty sure that I did in the game.
As Above So Below is in theaters Aug. 29.