As my review of The Descent showed, I though it to be one of the best horror films of the decade. It’s sequel however fell victim to every problem a sequel does. The Descent was intended to be a stand alone movie, it didn’t play up to the norms, instead being a dark and gritty tale of human survival, and that made it good.
The Descent Part 2 however confines to the standard norms, cutting down the brutality and rewriting the first ending to make things fit. (Uses the American ending w/ a slight variation)
First what did I like: As a standalone horror film, Part 2 fills out the standard formula perfectly, good setting, scary monsters, the right amount of people to be killed off in an obvious order. Also as a sequel it explained a little more about the original (although the ending just left more questions).
What was wrong: that they followed a formula! The first was brutal, giving us no hope. The second gave us the standard heroines, sacrificing and reconciling in order to ensure the groups survival. I preferred the original, where ones own survival was above all else, and a happy ending was not needed.
Also the first movie’s scares came from the environment about as much as the creatures. In the second, the set is different (sure that’s fine) but it is also lit up almost everywhere, you can always see the cavern or tunnel, well illuminated, eliminating that whole aspect of fear that made the first movie terrifying. I also felt like it was an entirely different cave because of this, and replacing the blood pit with the shit pit was disappointing.
Overall this movie is a mediocre horror flick, but as the sequel to one of the best of the decade, it is an utter disappointment. Throwing away everything that made the original unique.
Ok, I didn’t expect to bring back my Idea Week until the fall, but this keeps showing up on TV & I love this (these) movie(s) … & I never call for this kind of horror/paranormal genre stuff but I am–consider this a treat!–however, even as I realize that this is a different genre for me, let’s keep it more “real.” (no other worlds or made up languages, ok?)
baby steps, people … ha!
I would LOVE to find a story about women on some sort of trip/expedition that gives me thrills & chills … (I also loved the film “Black Rock” if that example helps …) Please!
The main problem with the so-called Part 2 of The Descent is that the whole plot is based on something that, as a big fan of the original film’s ending, I don’t want to see: the search and rescue operation. Much like last year’s Hatchet II, this film finds our main heroin (a returning Shauna Macdonald) - now afflicted with a convenient case of memory loss - back in the horrific caves, despite the million reasons that would advise to stay the fuck away. That said, the team behind this picture do a marvelous job at replicating the tense claustrophobic atmosphere of the first film and Neil Marshall returning as executive producer certainly helped maintain a similar tone and aesthetic. The new cast of character pales in comparison of the previous one, but the filmmakers do a nice job at dispatching them in various gruesome and beautiful displays of gore. Story and atmosphere are replicated and the film offers many strong moments in perfect continuity with the original but given its nature, there are a few fundamental differences: the first film was all about anticipation and discovery, as one had no idea what could possibly be lurking around those caves. This time around, the narrative - which originally found its strength in simplicity, reliance on basic human drive for survival and aforementioned sense of dread - seems repetitious and quite unnecessary. Very much a sequel to a film that absolutely didn’t need one, The Descent Part 2 is still a very decent experience I’d only recommend to die-hard fans of the original, who will probably enjoy the ride but promptly erase the narrative implications from their brain in order to preserve the great experience of the original film intact.
Written and directed by Neil Marshall, this British horror follows the story of six friends who explore an unmapped cave system, eventually running into, and being pursued by, flesh eating “humanoids”. Released originally in 2005 in the UK, The Descent was entered into the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and was released in the United States in August 2006. The sequel, The Descent Part 2 was released in the US, straight to DVD in April 2010.
**This is one of my absolute favorite horror films. (NOTE: extremely gory, and claustrophobic) 10/10!!