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The Descent: Part 2 (2009)

Written by J BlakesonJames McCarthy & James Watkins Directed by Jon Harris

   That always seems to be the problem when you come out with such a great first installment. Following it up in a manner that wont upset any of the attention it originally brought. Will the original Actors come back, whose working on the script this time around? Where did they decide to take the story? So many factors that can disrupt the way you even view the film for the first time. They did throw in as much story as could in the beginning which deals with the cave having been around for thousands of years. A while back it seems the new cave system had been found. But after sending in a man who never came back out, they figured he must have broke straight through to Hell. OR, they assisted in murder and decided it bury their little secret. But it certainly wasn’t something that stuck with you the way the first one did.

The problem from the beginning being that the audience is left to wonder why the sudden change from where they last left off. Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) runs out to “surprise” the same old man we hear the story from later on, who had briefly stopped due to a deer in the road. But in one version she makes it out with a car and the other she remains trapped inside. You can’t just forget how you left off! Later admitted to the Hospital, we find a rescue team at the end of their second day searching for Juno (Natalie Mendoza) and her five friends. The reason for Juno being such a prominent person mentioned being that she was the Senator’s niece. Must have been close to the Sheriff for him to have recognized her necklace. Which made me think that Juno had possibly wrecked a couple other homes prior, more than anything else.

After discovering a lead at the Chapel Mine, it’s decided that Sheriff Vaines (Michael J. Reynolds) and Deputy Rios (Krysten Cummings) would accompany specialists Dan (Douglas Hodge), Greg (Joshua Dallas) and Cath (Anna Skellern) along with Sarah in hopes of finding the remainder girls. While, and get this, NOT telling anyone about the new location of which they wold search. Because it’s not like we haven’t seen the outcome of that already. So naturally, soon after their descent, find themselves in the same pickle the first film got around too. The kicker being that they had found themselves deeper within the creatures world and thus had become surrounded by the more evolved subspecies. Which weren’t even necessarily scarier but slimier. Having five guys playing the main creatures with individual pieces for the face made so that they would be able to maneuver several different varieties. But showing more of the creature shouldn’t denote it becoming twice as terrifying. They made them look more like bats which didn’t work for myself. And their drool wasn’t gross as much as it seemed questionable as to which end it was actually coming out of, if you catch my drift.

Even though there wasn’t much time spent in the first film developing the girls relationship, it was implied through the way they acted with one another. We had gone through a lot of emotion in such little time that it was made easier to care for them. That wasn’t the case for myself in this one. Though the Sheriff’s character was written to be despised, what were the other’s excuses? Cath turned out to be pretty annoying, yelling all the time and what not. Greg was the only one I was sad to see go. He had caught on quickly and probably could have survived if not for her. Shauna Macdonald did a fantastic job reprising the role. Everything became a blur after leaving and once she’s brought back can hear her daughter’s voice from within; a cruel reminder of days before. Hearing familiar words as Rios leaves behind a video on her phone telling her daughter goodbye. Later sacrificing herself so at least one mother could make it out of their Hell. The only thing I ended up really liking was how they completed Sarah’s story and she ended up being the hero both times around. They brought back all the girls to make some lost footage and Juno was found still kicking, having adapted the same qualities of the creatures. Though I would have really liked to know how she escaped that last battle…really. While she does end up dying, for real this time around, where else would they have taken the story if they couldn’t bring her back?

The feel of this movie was different from the very beginning; Jon Harris had edited the first film and Neil Marshall knew it would be in good hands. Having someone who had already been familiar with the material and working with a lot of the same people. But they worked much better as a team with Marshall as the Director. It’s one thing to have a vision and another to take that on and try to execute something in the same manner. The cuts weren’t quick enough, thus the set ups weren’t as good at capturing the element of surprise. They waited so long that you knew when to expect something to jump out. Taking away the whole surprise of it all. Besides the clichéd shots, the fear didn’t feel as condensed this time around. I did cringe when they found Becca with the rat coming out of her mouth and the small gurgle she had right before. But how did she get there in such good condition? I would have thought she’d be ripped to shreds within those next two days. The music was also a bit theatric for my liking as they seemed to go more for the cheap thrills opposed to actual fear. Though having to hang from Sam’s (from the first; Becca’s sister) body in order to cross over was a somewhat tense moment. But it was completely useless in having any hope provided, both of them went out too easy. And am I the only one that found it odd the Sheriff wouldn’t be the first to go? Simply because he couldn’t maneuver around as well as the others. I didn’t even mind seeing him die; wasn’t like he didn’t have that coming.

So in bringing the story “full” circle, we see Rios ascend much like Sarah in the original. But then, ah yes, she stops running. Any Horror fan knows what that means. The eerie trucker from the beginning dragging her to an open area where he assisted in feeding the creatures. Which means the third one will be terrible. Hopefully no one gets any bright ideas; though I didn’t positively hate watching this one. It just doesn’t compare. Pretty sure Juno didn’t have to Tyson the creatures neck either, she had a weapon next to her. Not that it mattered being what she used her last breath for. There being no point in introducing any of the characters and so it didn’t make it seem worth the watch. Just when you begin you root for Rios, she gets knocked out and fed! So this turned out to be somewhat disappointing sequel. Maybe too many ideas were thrown around. It seems that can happen when having too many writers attached. Or maybe it was just good intention, poor execution.