Lions Gate has snapped up NorthAmerican rights to Neil Marshall's British gorefest The Descent from PatheInternational.

The film, which sold widely during Cannes,is to receive its world premiere at next week's London UK Film Focus.

The Descent (Marshall'sfollow-up to 2002's Dog Soldiers) isa Celador Films production, executive produced byPaul Smith and produced by Christian Colson.

A horror film about six youngwomen on a caving adventure who are trapped underground with a race offearless, hungry predators, its cast includes Shauna MacDonald (State ofPlay), Nora-Jane Noone (The Magdalene Sisters),Natalie Mendoza (Code 46), Alex Reid (Last Orders) and Saskia Mulder (The Beach).

"We are excited to be working with Patheagain on The Descent. Based onjust the script and promo reel, we knew we had to jump on this immediately.As he did with Dog Soldiers,Neil knows how to deliver the scares," said Peter Block, President,Acquisitions and Co-Productions, Lions Gate Entertainment.

Said Alison Thompson, head of Pathe PicturesInternational: "Lions Gate did a fantastic job with Pathe'sGirl with a Pearl Earring. We are delighted to continue therelationship and to know that The Descent will be in the expert hands ofthe distributor of the hugely successful Cabin Fever, Saw and OpenWater."