I can't help but feel like Brenninkmeyer's Descension has a bit of a weak plot. Not that it's necessarily a bad piece of writing - it's just that, there's not much suspense, because, the driving force isn't really there. The monks aren't all that relatable, (at least for me) and thus, neither is the story.
... At least, not on paper.
Ben Brenninkmeyer takes a so-so idea and really expands upon it in Descension! While many things are left up to the imagination (and what is shown towards the end isn't necessarily all that blood curdling-ly spooky) the brickfilm does have a nice overall unity to it.
The sets are nice - the stained glass windows a real treat! The animation, while not perfect, is rather uniquely momentous. The characters never walk around too stiffly, however, aren't too fluid either. Actually, the animation is somewhat reminiscent of that in The Gauntlet or even a TV special such as The Year Without a Santa Claus - not amateurish, but more-so uniquely original. Pretty fitting to the film, if you ask me.
The voice acting fits the characters, and the chants at both the beginning and end really set a tone for the rest of the story - a great way to engage the audience.
Overall, I'd probably give Descension about a 7 out of 10 rating. It's not a masterpiece by any means, however, it certainly deserves a spot in the upper 3rd quartile of quality-based rankings. It's something I'll learn a few things from, and, just like any good brickfilm, it inspires me to keep up the craft.
I am available for voice acting & scoring! See details here