In 2006, a British horror film called The Descent was released in North America one year after its UK debut. It was a terrifying horror film, which scared people shitless as it took claustrophobia to a whole new level. Now 3 years later, they’ve once again released the sequel The Descent: Part 2 overseas, and it marks the directorial debut of Jon Harris (editor of the original film). Can it live up to the excellence of its predecessor or will it become another superfluous follow up?
Read our review below…
- Director: Jon Harris
- Producers: Christian Colson, Ivanna Mackinnon and Neil Marshall (Executive Producer)
- Writers: James Watkins, J. Blakeson and James McCarthy
- Actors: Shauna MacDonald, Natalie Mendoza, Krysten Cummings, Joshua Dallas, Gavan O’Herlihy and Anna Skellern.
The Descent: Part 2 picks up immediately after the events of the first film. Sarah (Shauna MacDonald) emerges alone from a cave system following an expedition with her five friends in the Appalachian Mountains. Distraught, injured and covered in the blood of her missing companions, she is incoherent and half-wild with fear. Skeptical about her account of the events and convinced that her psychosis hides far darker secrets, Sheriff Vaines forces her back into the caves to help locate the rest of the group. Trapped by falling rocks, the rescue party is driven deep into the caverns, and one by one the fate of the missing girls is revealed. Sarah struggles to stay alive and once again encounters the evil in the deep. However will she manage to escape back to the daylight?
- Levels of Claustrophobia: The film manages to recreate the sense of claustrophobia from the original, which is vitally important. As an audience member you feel as if you’re in there with the cave divers, maneuvering through all the tight pot holes and surroundings. It’s nerve-racking, but in a good way.
- Blood & Gore: This film is very gory, but that’s good for a horror film like this. Heads get smashed, fingers get nibbled, limbs get hacked, blood spurts everywhere, and we’re reminded of how good a drill is as a weapon.
- Why?: There is no reason for this film to exist. The original had a story which lasted 90 minutes and was perfect. But with the sequel, even the writers can’t justify why they made it. This film joins the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and Exorcist 2: The Heretic in the unwanted sequels hall of fame.
- Horror Clichés: All the characters in the film are constrained to the norm of clichés. It’s annoying to see this happen because the first movie had unique and complicated relationships, which made them more memorable. But here, they make the same endless mistakes as they do in every other horror movie and it’s depressing.
- Not Scary: It isn’t as scary as the original, just a sad carbon copy. It’s probably because you already know what the crawlers are capable of so after a while it’s just a series of set ups and kills, which can be repetitive and boring.
- Sarah’s Character: In the first film, Sarah (MacDonald) was a very complex character. She had recently lost her family and was forced to deal with her inner demons, but in the sequel her story’s one note. There’s no expansion, and her family’s only mentioned once before she magically turns into Rambo inside the cave. All the positive feelings you had for her in the original film will be long gone by the time this movie is over.
If you’re in the mood for a cheap Friday night scare with plenty of gore, this is the film for you. But for the most cynical viewer, The Descent: Part 2 is a simple case of déjà vu. Predictable and cliché-ridden, this superfluous sequel will no doubt disappoint fans of the original, once again proving that you can’t make the same film twice expecting better results.
The Descent: Part 2 opened in the U.K. on December 2, 2010.