Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Jackson Mendoza, Krysten Cummings, Gavan O’Herlihy
Directed by Jon Harris
Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment
The first thing I’m going to do is ask that you ignore the horrid cover art you see to your right which makes The Descent Part 2 look like a truly cheeseball and without merit affair. Seriously, who signed off on that? Wow. If ever there was a time to not judge a book by its cover, it’s pertaining to this film. Moving on …
The Descent Part 2 picks right up after the alternate ending of the first movie (the one we got here in the States) with our main character, Sarah (Macdonald), climbing out of the cave, finding a car, and heading immediately to the hospital. Now completely traumatized, Sarah’s mind has broken down, and she has no memory of what has happened to her friends or of the flesh-eating cave dwellers who besieged them.
With several people missing, including the daughter of a politician, the authorities are being pressed big-time to find out what happened to everyone. Having no other choice, they convince our heroic amnesiac to head back down into the — for the most part — unexplored cave system as a means to find some answers. As you can imagine, what they find is terror. Pure gore-soaked terror.
While not as good as Neil Marshall’s original venture into this territory, Jon Harris has still managed to create a more than competent sequel that does a fine job of carrying on down the road that was left before him. The only real problem is that the filmmakers seemed a lot more concerned with going for gross-out gags this time around than they did making the movie as frightening and suspenseful as the first. All the elements are there, but this time the creatures seem to be conveniently separated instead of running in packs and responding to each other’s cries to alert others of their new found lunch. They’re also a bit over-exposed. I’m sorry, but once you feature a scene with your big bad taking a shit, there’s nowhere left to go scare-wise.
In terms of supplemental material we get a fine package to sift through. Things kick off with a busy audio commentary with director Jon Harris and actors Shauna Macdonald, Krysten Cummings, and Anna Skellern that thankfully ends up on the entertaining side of the fence, and from there we get a twenty-five-minute making-of featurette that’s home to interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, etc. Brisk, never boring, and pretty damned good! In addition we have around eleven minutes of deleted scenes, including an alternate opening, and your standard storyboard gallery. All in all, much like the film itself, it’s not too shabby!
If you can put up with the blatant rapid-fire attempts to make you scream “Ewwwwww!” at your TV, there’s a lot to like about the flick. At the very least it’s miles better than what we all thought it would be upon its announcement — and truth be told? It’s so good that we wouldn’t mind revisiting these caves and these characters for a third go-around. Violent, claustrophobic, and definitely fun, The Descent Part 2 gives you pretty much everything you could have wanted in a sequel. Nowadays that’s no easy task!
3 1/2 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5