Anna Skellern, Documentary, Douglas Hodge, Drama, Gavan O'Herlihy, Horror, Josh Dallas, Krysten Cummings, Mark Hogancamp, Marwencol, Movie, Shauna Macdonald, The Descent: Part 2
Shauna Macdonald, Krysten Cummings, Gavan O’Herlihy, Douglas Hodge, Josh Dallas, Anna Skellern
Sarah: They’re blind…they track sound. You’re louder.
Sarah (Macdonald), the lone survivor of a caving expedition that was attacked by subterranean creatures, is forced to assist a rescue team search the cave for possible survivors. This little rescue attempt does not go well.
Throw another one on the pile of unnecessary sequels.
This one is probably a touch better than most uncalled for sequels, but it still reeks of a lame attempt to cash in on the unexpected popularity of the first movie. Sadly, the writers, and first time Director Jon Harris, didn’t quite understand what made the first movie an enjoyable horror flick. That movie really gave itself time to develop the characters and create an ominous feeling of the cave closing in around them (and us the audience). In an odd way – despite what happens to them – the first movie seemed to actually care about the characters. Part 2 simply reduces them all to ambulatory bags of blood just waiting to be torn apart in creative ways.
The movie opens with one of the most stunningly unbelievable setups I’ve seen in a long time. Sarah has just been discovered, she’s recovering from her ordeal in the hospital, she has her friends blood on her clothes, and somehow the policeman in charge decides it’s a good idea to drag her back down into the cave? Don’t question her for more than 30 seconds, don’t do a full investigation or get a psychologist in to talk to her for a while. Nope, just take the only survivor from the entire party back down in the cave. Under no circumstances could I ever see this happening. Ever. At least when they pulled that stunt in Aliens, Ripley had told her story numerous times and a long time had passed before she went back into the monsters’ lair.
While Part 2 does manage to create some scary caving experiences (the scariest aspect of the first movie), it rushes to get to the monster attacks. If you like extreme gore, I guess that will make you happy, because the attacks are pretty disgusting. But it’s all so empty. Just an exercise in violence and special effects.
I did say this was a touch above most bad sequels, and that’s mostly because of Shauna Macdonald. She’s still an enjoyable actor to watch, and since she had a lot of character development in the first movie, she’s the only one I felt any connection to. The caving sequences leading up to the monster attacks are good, and some of the action is alright. Unfortunately, just when you think it might end on a good note, the movie totally falls off the deep end. I really disliked the end of this one. The first movie, depending on what version you saw, ended in a sort of poignantly depressing way. This movie just left me feeling bad as the credits rolled.
One last thing to note. The Descent was understandably guilty of having some of the caves lit with an unrealistic amount of light. I mean, you have to if you want to see anything in a cave. Part 2 goes overboard with the unrealistic lighting. Way overboard. You can see plain as day in some caves where there shouldn’t be a single light source. Part of what’s scary about being in a cave is how dark it is.
Leave the 10K at home next time guys, okay?
Don’t fire a gun in a cave.
10 – 2 for lack of character development – 1 for a poor ending – 1 for some nonsensical things like well lit caves and blind monsters that hunt above ground all the time = 6.0
haha i do love your reviews!
Great review. I liked it in some ways but it wasn’t a patch on the original film. I think any story that takes place in those sorts of places is inherently claustrophobic – a perfect cinematic feeling to instill in the audience for a thriller. But it did tread well-worn ground – literally!
thanks! yep, i don’t know what other direction they could have taken it, but something more original would have been nice.