5. The Descent
Neil Marshall’s 2005 thriller is one of the most grueling experiences you’ll ever have at the movies. Claustrophobia is currently in at the box office — between Captain Phillips, Gravity and All is Lost — and The Descent is a master class in how to manipulate space for maximum discomfort. Like John Boorman’s Deliverance, The Descent is an exploration of how friendship is tested when our lives are on the line — what we must sacrifice for survival. As a group of female friends find themselves trapped in the darkness of a cave during a spelunking expedition gone wrong, the movie fuses B-thrills and psychological horror as the girls find themselves hunted by something in the shadows. The film is sadistically effective, so much so that after it ends, it’s hard to find your way out of the darkness again.