The Descent: Part 2 (2009)
By: James Gillett on March 12, 2012  | 
DVD
Icon | Region B | 2:35:1, 1080p | English DTS HD Master Audio | 93 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Jon Harris
Starring: Shauna Macdonald, Gavan O'Herlihy, Krysten Cummings, Joshua Dallas
Screenplay: James McCarthy, James Watkins, J Blakeson
Country: UK
External Links
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This review contains spoilers for The Descent.

Picking up just after the ending of the US version of The Descent, this sequel finds Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) alive and lured back into the caves on a rescue expedition to find her 'lost' friends. What follows is more of the same cave exploring and creature munching, only this time a mind numbingly horrible script and unappealing leads cripple what could have been a fun little gore flick.

There's more than a few problems with this cheapie sequel, and not just the obvious "why the hell does this movie exist?" (the short answer I imagine is to make a quick buck). To bring anyone who wasn't aware up to speed; this film's impressive predecessor has two versions. The original UK version in which it's heavily suggested the six girls on a caving expedition don't make it out alive, mostly as a result of the vicious, blind, humanoid cave creatures they encounter. And then there's the US theatrical cut in which one of the girls (Sarah) survives, likely due to her viciously wounding a friend in order to make an escape (the wounding happens in both edits, but at least in the UK version she gets what she deserves).

In my mind the UK version is the true version of the film, as director Neil Marshall intended. The US 'Yay! someone survives!" cut which was apparently altered to be less 'dark' is so deeply broken in that it's supposed misplaced happy ending actually becomes somewhat troubling. Are American viewers so jaded that someone surviving an ordeal by screwing someone over (justified or not) is more palatable than having them get their comeuppance or succumbing to the same fate?

The point is if like me you watched the UK cut of The Descent, which was also the version released in Australia, then the idea of picking up with Sarah found alive is silly at best. I could tolerate it if there was a clever reason for going down that route, but no such luck. With Sarah deeply disturbed and suffering amnesia, idiocy continues to triumph as the writers decided it's plausible the local sheriff would naturally force the hospitalised and mentally crippled Sarah back into the caves...

Script stupidity culminates with Sarah suddenly regaining her entire memory and running about the cave system like fucking Rambo, at which point I was having trouble believing what I was seeing. It actually gets grown inducingly stupider again, but I'll leave that brain pain for anyone who can actually make that far...

The script blows the donkey, but the dull uncharismatic leads don't help to much either. There no point singling anyone out; they're all uniformly forgettable. Mostly just there to get eaten, or have copious blood sprayed into their mouths, and then get eaten. If there's a positive here it's the good make-up and gore effects. They can't be faulted. They're easily the films strongest asset. Director Jon Harris (better known as an editor) actually does a pretty good job with what he has to work with, and other than the tenancy to be over-lit, the movie looks good too. But in the end it just doesn't amount to much. When the script is this flawed, no amount of technical competence can make you care about what you're seeing on screen. Well, not for this chump anyway.
Video
The movie looks great on Blu-ray. The 1080p 2:35:1 framed transfer displays impressive detail, strong black levels and accurate skin tones.
Audio
There are two tracks to choose from, the DTS-HD Master 5.1 and a Dolby TrueHD 5.1. The DTS produces impressive atmosphere with fine detail, clear dialogue and pounding sound effects. Balanced and effective.
Extra Features
Trailers for The Descent, Pandorum and Triangle on start-up.
The Verdict
The Descent Part 2 is a movie best viewed by casual fans of the original looking to turn their brain off and watch some people get eaten in a cave. If you really love the original however (like me) you might find this to be a frustrating and downright insulting watch. Kudos to the gore, but wow, even by the notoriously low standards of the horror sequel, this movie's script is horrendous.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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