Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.


Watch This Review

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Movie Review

Twentysomething Scarlett Marlowe is more than just a pretty girl next door with a cool-sounding name. She's a pretty professor at University College London, archeologist and occult semiotician who's ready to do whatever it takes to pursue her deceased father's dreams.

Her dad, you see, believed that a mystical artifact called the Philosopher's Stone was a real and obtainable wonder—a magical crystal that could turn crude metal into gold and held the key to eternal life. But don't go imagining that Scarlett's simply interested in treasure or immortality. No, this is a far more serious pursuit. She seeks truth.

Her father was driven to madness and suicide by this quest, and Scarlett wants to know that his death was for more than naught. And, in fact, her recent trip to Iran has proven that he was indeed very close to his goal. There, she risked life and limb to find the Rose Key, an ancient code breaker that could unlock the mysteries of one Hermes Trismegistus' tombstone.

All the clues seem to be leading to an unknown location somewhere beneath Paris. With the help of her friend George, they've pinpointed a spot some 370 feet down in a cavern somewhere just outside the confines of the ancient catacombs.

Now, sure, the catacombs—being a national artifact holding some 6 million human skeletons—are well guarded by the authorities. But since she has George at her side, along with a documentarian named Benji and a small crew of French speleologists, Scarlett's sure she'll finally be able to make her way to the Philosopher's Stone.

Why, she'd breach the gates of hell itself to see this thing through!

Which is exactly what she's going to have to do.


Positive Elements

Scarlett is a driven individual with a selfless goal. And even though she's actually leading some of her friends to their deaths, she never does so callously. In fact, she makes every effort to save those she's endangered, at one point running back on her own through a gauntlet of terror to try to save the life of a fallen comrade.

Spiritual Content

She also heals a wounded friend with the Philosopher's Stone, which is said to have kept lamps burning for 700 years. It's stated that the "number of the devil" is 741. And the group of explorers enter a small room that holds the still fully fleshed remains of a 700-year-old Knights Templar man.

During the credits, a large pentagram is one of the symbols that decorates the screen. An inscription carved into the wall over a crawlspace quotes a passage from Dante's Divine Comedy, saying, "Abandon all hope ye who enter here." Of course, Scarlett and the others crawl on into this "hell's gate," facing dark ominous sights and sounds that include screams of torment, blasts of large horns, pools of blood and outright demonic creatures.

We're told that "As Above, So Below" is actually an axiom pulled from an ancient pagan belief system called Hermeticism, and is said to refer to the study of earthly things as a way to understand the heavenly. (The phrase is now used both in Christian traditions and by practitioners of the occult.) In the context of the movie, it's said to be the key to all magic, being the equivalent of "As I believe the world to be, so it is."

[Spoiler Warning] Eventually Scarlett comes to realize that many of the things she and her group are being shown are representative of bad choices they've made or some kind of guilt that's weighing on each of their souls. It's only with a "rectifying" act of admitting past wrongs that the survivors are eventually able to make it to safety.

Sexual Content

In a catacombs cave, Scarlett and her friends encounter a group of chanting and singing female devil worshippers, some of whom are topless. In the course of jumping in and out of pools of water and blood, Scarlett and another woman, Souxie, end up with clingy, wet tank tops. Ladies in a club wear skimpy outfits. Scarlett and George kiss passionately.

Violent Content

Since all of the film is captured by either the shaking and jumping lens of a handheld camera or one of several small pin-cameras mounted on headlamps, images of some of the nastiest bloodletting are distorted and disfigured somewhat. But we still get visceral doses of quite a lot of death and destruction.

A young boy struggles and drowns. A man screams while being roasted alive in a burning vehicle. Someone else is sucked into those flames and left with nothing but feet and ankles sticking out of the cave floor. Scarlett sees her father after he hangs himself. Bloody hands reach out to grab someone from a pool of gore. A stone figure carved in a wall leaps forward and rips a large chunk of flesh out of a man's throat, leaving him bleeding profusely and gasping for life.

A woman is grabbed by a maniac who batters her head repeatedly against a rock; her forehead cracks open and she's covered in gore. A man is pushed from the top of a 100-foot height, and we see him crash to the ground below, breaking his neck. That same guy, earlier, falls while grabbing at climbing ropes to save his life, his hands getting ripped and bloody.

A woman is crushed beneath the falling rock of a cave-in. (When she's pulled out, she's covered in blood and her arm is obviously ripped and crushed.) Somebody struggles and panics while wedged in a tight tunnel full of human bones. He cries out as rats bite his ankles. While in Iran, Scarlett sees a man's corpse hanging from the ceiling just before the cave she's in is destroyed by explosives. She's thrown about by the blasts.

Crude or Profane Language

About 50 f-words and 30 s-words. We also hear "h---" and "a--." God's and Jesus' names are misused a total of 20 times; God's is combined with "d--n" once.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Partyers drink wine and hard liquor.

Other Negative Elements

Scarlett enters Iran illegally and, later, breaks into an abandoned cathedral while searching for George.


The Descent meets The Da Vinci Code meets Lara Croft Tomb Raider.

As Above/So Below borrows and blends claustrophobic underground crawls with inscrutable mysticism, historical-artifact puzzle-solving, and on-the-cusp-of-hell bloodletting. You could say it sends its characters six feet under, both literally and figuratively.

Admittedly, some of that hybridization isn't as homogenous and one-dimensional as it might immediately sound. The determined Scarlett and her fellow eccentric-academic George make for a compelling pair as they bounce ancient clues off each other while pursuing her archeologist father's life-passion with Indiana Jones levels of glee and guts. And some of the history-lite dialogue feels like it could have been part of an involving story if only it had been exposed to the bright light of day at least once or twice.

But it wasn't.

Instead we're given a shaky-camera, headache-inducing found-footage chase that heads down, down and forever down into the dank and the dark of the bone-strewn catacombs. There our "heroes" wrestle with vague, soul-encumbering personal guilt while hellish entities gnaw on their necks and crack open their skulls. As Above/So Below is unnecessarily profane, populated by albino-skinned dead reaching from pools of blood ... and destined for a second slow death on Netflix.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!