Topic: Brickfilm of the Week: Descension (October 16, 2015)

Our Brickfilm of the Week Horror Special continues! This week’s Brickfilm of the Week is Descension by Ben Brenninkmeyer.

Descension is a 2002 horror brickfilm by Ben Brenninkmeyer. It is about two monks who investigate a horror down a staircase. It was an entry to the Horror Animation Contest and was nominated for Scariest Scene, Best Sound Effects and Best Set Design.

Ben Brenninkmeyer, typically known by his username "Egoless," was an early member of the community, and is also known for Mummy, Kerouac, and the controversial Girl. He was active from 2001 to 2004.

Watch Descension on the Brickfilm Archive

What are your thoughts on Descension? What did you like about it? Did you have a favorite moment?

Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Descension (October 16, 2015)

I've got to give this film credit for being pretty inventive with its visuals. Whether or not it's necessarily successful with them is another story. I liked the part at the end where the one image is slotted over three times. However, the ripple effect for the radio was just distracting.

I must say that the film tries to thrive on its mystery, yet really doesn't give you enough to actually chew on to make you ponder what is left to the unknown. A good mystery will give you just enough to make a few immediate conclusions, but will still leave you with enough interesting loose threads to keep you wanting to know more.

Here, the only thing we're given is "IT'S TOO HORRIBLE FOR THE EYES! THERE'S NO WAY TO DESCRIBE IT! IT'S TOO LATE FOR ME!!" Really just generic tropes of the genre, nothing actually there.

So yeah, a noble attempt at a relatively unexplored genre in Brickfilming, but without enough substance to really keep you guessing.
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Re: Brickfilm of the Week: Descension (October 16, 2015)

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. mini/smile