Prime Video is losing one of the best horror thriller movies ever — stream it before it leaves this week

Saskia Mulder and MyAnna Buring in "The Descent" (2005)
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

The horror genre will always be my favorite, no matter how many brilliant action or romance movies I watch. This genre is intended to disturb, frighten or scare audiences, and many movies manage to pull that off. 

But one in particular is so genuinely scary that it can get under your skin, and you might be amazed at just how well it can evoke feelings of fear. That movie in question is “The Descent," and it so happens to be one of my favorite horror thrillers ever.

Released nearly 20 years ago, “The Descent” starts as a thrilling adventure movie that soon transforms into pure nightmare fuel in the best way possible. It’s not one for those who don’t enjoy blood, gore, and visceral terror, but it is for people who love a good horror experience.

Even though you can currently stream the movie on Prime Video, it won’t be on this platform for long. Here’s why you should watch “The Descent” before it leaves one of the best streaming services this week.

What is ‘The Descent’ about?

The Descent (2005) Official Trailer #1 - Horror Movie HD - YouTube The Descent (2005) Official Trailer #1 - Horror Movie HD - YouTube
Watch On

"The Descent" follows a group of six women — Sarah (Shauna Macdonald), Juno (Natalie Mendoza), Beth (Alex Reid), Sam (MyAnna Buring), Rebecca (Saskia Mulder), and Holly (Nora-Jane Noone) — who venture into a remote cave system in the Appalachian Mountains. Sarah is still grieving the recent loss of her husband and daughter in a car accident, and the trip is intended to help her heal.

As they explore the cave, the women encounter narrow passages and dangerous drops that make the experience more thrilling. The group also finds strange cave paintings and evidence of an earlier expedition.

However, their adventure soon turns into a nightmare when they realize they are not alone in the uncharted cave. They come across a colony of subterranean, humanoid creatures known as "Crawlers," who are blind but have heightened hearing and are highly adapted to the dark environment. These ravenous cannibals begin to hunt the women one by one, leading to a terrifying struggle for survival.

‘The Descent’ is horror done right

With an impressive score of 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s obvious 'The Descent' is worth watching, even if you aren’t a fan of being scared.

Jim Emerson from RogerEbert described it in the best way: “Finally, a scary movie with teeth, not just blood and entrails -- a savage and gripping piece of work that jangles your nerves without leaving your brain hanging.”

Meanwhile, Film Inquiry’s Stephanie Archer praised the movie for its genuine horror: “The Descent falls into a long line of horrors preying on the visceral fears of audiences, cleverly bringing these terrors to the surface in a film that is at times hard to watch and experience.” 

Set within the dark, labyrinthine depths of a cave system, “The Descent” creates a sense of isolation and claustrophobia that intensifies both the psychological horror experienced by the characters and the audience's unease. 

While there are the occasional “cheap boo-scares” that feel a bit fake at times, the movie still remains influential in the horror genre, and it’s certainly one that got under my skin (and many horror movies don’t). 

Now is your chance to experience ‘The Descent’

Natalie Mendoza as Juno in "The Descent" (2005)

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

“The Descent” will be available on Prime Video until 12 midnight PDT on June 29. This means you have until the end of this week to watch a truly scary horror movie, and it’s definitely worth every second. 

Of course, it’s not everyone’s favorite, and I understand it can have “scattershot horror effects”, but the tension alone is enough to rank it one of my favorite horror thrillers ever. Like Marc Savlov from Austin Chronicle said: “The Descent may not be everything you've heard, but man, it's also a lot of things you haven't.” 

In the mood for more horror? I just found the best horror-action movie ever on Prime Video, and it’s honestly better than “28 Days Later”. You can also check out this classic horror franchise before it leaves Netflix

More from Tom's Guide

Alix Blackburn
Staff Writer, Streaming

Alix is a Streaming Writer at Tom’s Guide, which basically means watching the best movies and TV shows and then writing about them. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer for Screen Rant and Bough Digital, both of which sparked her interest in the entertainment industry. When she’s not writing about the latest movies and TV shows, she’s either playing horror video games on her PC or working on her first novel.