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THE DESCENT PART 2, 2009
Starring: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Jackson Mendoza, Krysten Cummings, Gavan O'Herlihy, Joshua Dallas, Anna Skellern, Douglas Hodge
Distraught, confused, and half-wild with fear, Sarah Carter emerges alone from the Appalachian cave system where she encountered unspeakable terrors. Unable to plausibly explain to the authorities what happened - or why she's covered in her friends' blood - Sarah is forced back to the subterranean depths to help locate her five missing companions. As the rescue party drives deeper into uncharted caverns, nightmarish visions of the recent past begin to haunt Sarah and she starts to realize the full horror and futility of the mission. Subjected to the suspicion and mistrust of the group and confronted once more by the inbred, feral and savagely ruthless Crawlers, Sarah must draw on all her inner reserves of strength and courage in a desperate final struggle for deliverance and redemption.
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The Descent (dir. Neil Marshall) was a huge critical success when it was released in 2005 and it even managed to do very well in the box office from around the world. With a new director and new writers behind this sequel, it isnít as good as I was hoping it would be and something you might want to consider avoiding.
Although I didnít get time to see The Descent before watching this new follow-up, the story was written so that people who are new to the series wonít get confused with everything going on and with the story being simply told and uncomplicated to understand for everyone.
Following days after the events of the first film, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) is found alive and has suffered from massive memory loss, while a group of climbers are looking for her teammates. Questioned for being the only one alive and originally found covered in her friendsí blood, she is forced to go back into the caves to see if anyone else from her team has survived with two police officers and three climbers accompanying her, unaware what they are about to face.
With Neil Marshall stepping back from the directing position to work on the up-coming Centurion (dir. Neil Marshall), the role was filled with someone that shouldíve done a much better job.
Jon Harris, who edited Eden Lake (dir. James Watkins), The Descent and Stardust (dir. Matthew Vaughn), took the opportunity to use The Descent: Part Two (dir. Jon Harris) as his directing debut. Compared with other directors who debuted in the same year, they managed to offer so much more of fresh takes and attempts on the genres their films were representing and the way this film was directed didnít really feel new and tried some attempts that did break it down more than building itself up. For example, the monsters in the film appeared in shots either behind their victimís shoulders, appearing in the point-of-view from a handheld camcorder and popping out randomly from nowhere in the dark, which has been done many times in other typical horrors and done so much better. Although it startled me, it didnít have any terrifying effect on me after leaving the cinema.
Three writers were formed to take over the writing position and it was amazing to see how bad the screenplay was, because two of them had some experience in professional screenwriting.
Iíll give the writing team credit for making the story accessible for new-comers and keeping it simple, but the dialogue and some of the scenes were done very poorly and kept it from getting any better then it shouldíve been. This was due to British writers trying to write a screenplay that was a very typical American horror film and it was a bit obvious that they were trying to do this, with a fat, gun-shooting American and typical horror lines (ďYou mean thereís an unidentified cave? Cool!Ē). It didnít really feel fresh and because it was trying to copy other existing horror films, it just simply fell short and felt unnecessary as a sequel.
This team also uses elements from other genres for some of the scenes in the film and it doesnít help the bad horror scenes. For example, thereís an attempt at comedy with a scene showing one of the monsters pooping in a watery pit that the remaining survivors are hiding in and although the writers were trying to show the home and lifestyle of these monsters throughout the story, this made me laugh at it more than actually with it. Another fine example is when one of the police officers find a female Asian survivor who kills a group of monsters with her climbing equipment and itís very action packed. Again, this was a scene I was laughing at again since it was not fitting in with the rest of the film.
My overall view on this film is that it felt very unnecessary to make since it doesnít offer half as much as most other horrors that have come out before this and even with the talent behind it, itís amazing how it falls very short in the horror genre. Quite a surprising disappointment.