The Descent: Part 2 (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner03/12/2009

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 93 mins

Watchable sequel that lacks the depth and psychological complexity of the original but still delivers the requisite amount of shocks and gore.

What's it all about?
Directed by Jon Harris (Neil Marshall's editor on the original), The Descent: Part 2 is a sequel to the 2005 horror hit, set just two days after lone survivor Sarah (Shauna MacDonald) escapes from the monster-filled underground caves, covered in blood that isn't hers and unable to remember what happened to her five friends. However, local sheriff Vaines (Gavin O'Herlihy) takes a dim view of her trauma and suspects her of knowing more than she's letting on, so he corrals her into joining an underground search party, aided by deputy Elen Rios (Krysten Cummings) and rescue volunteers Dan (Douglas Hodge), Greg (Joshua Dallas) and Kath (Anna Skellern).

Sure enough, almost as soon as they set off, they're trapped underground by a cave-in and the creepy, troglodyte-type monsters soon start picking them off one by one, which proves a useful trigger to Sarah getting her memory back. Will any of them make it out alive this time?

The Good
In pure jump-out-of-your-seat terms, The Descent: Part 2 is about as good a sequel as you could reasonably hope for, in that it essentially delivers all the claustrophobia, gory death sequences and shock twists that characterised the original. The performances are fine (with O'Herlihy doing a good job as the knuckle-headed, ripe-for-comeuppance sheriff), even if the characters aren't quite as memorable this time round.

The Bad
The main problem largely depends on your attachment to the original, because the sequel robs it of its ambiguous and genuinely shocking ending, as well as clearing up a loose end that was probably better left dangling. Similarly, the story is basically pointless and lacks both the depth and psychological complexity of the original – in fact, if anything, it makes a mockery of it, because it's utterly ridiculous that Sarah would be forced to go back underground in her traumatised state.

That said, the film does pull off a couple of decent twists and Harris is careful to imitate Marshall's style throughout, so that it does at least feel like a continuation of the same story.

Worth seeing?
The Descent: Part 2 is a perfectly adequate sequel that won't disappoint fans of the original but if you've never seen The Descent, then you should watch that instead.

Film Trailer

The Descent: Part 2 (18)
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Content updated: 17/10/2017 19:25

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