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Case Number 27175: Small Claims Court

Buy 20 Ft Below: The Darkness Descending at Amazon

20 Ft Below: The Darkness Descending

Vertical Entertainment // 2014 // 96 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 3rd, 2014

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson has grown to look more like Danny Trejo as he's entered his late thirties.

The Charge

The darkness descending.

The Case

Hey, there's Danny Trejo from Machete Kills. He's on the cover of some movie called 20 Ft Below. I wonder it's about. Well, Trejo is standing there looking ill-tempered and holding a bloody axe. His torso is surrounded by fire—potentially hellfire—and behind him are angel wings or something. I'm going to guess maybe a supernatural thriller or gothic horror? The synopsis on the back is completely devoted to describing his character: he's got red eyes, he's a myth, a legend, eats rats, leads a cult, has supernatural powers and so on and so forth. Plus the screen shots on the back feature people screaming and some more fire. I'm in the mood for a supernatural horror adventure—I shall purchase it!

So goes the internal monologue that's I'm guessing the 20 Ft Below marketers are banking on because, fella, let me tell you: this movie is not what you're expecting. I'm assuming you're expecting a some sort of crazy demon movie with Danny Trejo acting crazy and demonic, but what 20 Ft Below ends up is something completely different: a drama on homelessness.

Seriously. The plot revolves around a woman filming a documentary on the homeless population living underground. She pokes around a bit, finds out that some a-hole (Trejo) has been causing trouble, teams up with a homeless man to unravel the mystery. Meanwhile, a psychotic cop exercises his own brand of perverse justice, despite the objections of his partner. It all culminates in a little bit of action, but don't be fooled: this more of a message movie than anything.

The DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Surround audio, and no extras.

If you want to learn some facts about homelessness in the US and watch Danny Trejo show up in a film long enough to get his name in the top credits, then 20 Ft Below: The Darkness Descending is for you. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

The Verdict


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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 60

Perp Profile

Studio: Vertical Entertainment
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Release Year: 2014
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Drama
• Thriller

Distinguishing Marks

• None


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