The Descent Part Two
Title: The Descent Part Two
Starring: Shauna McDonald, Michael Reynolds, Jessika Williams
Director: Jon Harris
Despite my usual apparent dislike for many mainstream efforts, the first part of this saga proved itself to be well thought out, and whilst being a shade predictable, never quite pandered to cliché. Quite impressive considering it was a film about women - none of who get their tits out - trying to escape a cave with what can only be called 'rock monsters' on their tail. Perhaps it was that they seem to have made something good out of what looked like a worrying premise that kept me away from this film. Perhaps it was the dreaded sequel syndrome. I honestly can't remember, but picking up where the last one left off, it certainly does feel like... well a sequel, with all the usual problems.
When our sole survivor emerges, she quickly finds herself in a hospital bed being treated for her relatively minor wounds; traumatised by her ordeal, her memory of the events that transpired have fallen prey to her resultant amnesia and all that's known is that she emerged mysteriously covered in blood, and that her friends must still be down there. When search parties return empty handed, they resolve to take her down with an experienced team, hoping she will remember the way back to find her missing friends. Ignoring the fact that, y'know, most of the caves look pretty much the same. And that she was covered in someone elses blood gave nothing away as to what might have happened to them and why they should let it lie. But moving swiftly on.
The problems here should already be fairly apparent: new cast but an old story. They'd already made glorious use of the dark and shadows in the first and here feels lacking by comparison, the tunnels are now often as flat and wide as a motorway, complete with road lights, with just a bit of rubble either side of these supposed underground caverns, but if you liked the first then this one certainly ain't too bad an effort. They haven't revamped the cave dwellers to try and 'top their last,' which sadly seems commendable given how often people fall into this particular trap, but its major downfall is that it simply isn't original. There's nothing new that's really brought to the table, it's to the original what 'Hostel Part 2' was to 'Hostel;' same shit, different people. They've taken a formula and not fucked around with it. Yes it's a bit of a cash in, trying to scare you in the same way twice, and that it's so unoriginal is perhaps why they haven't asked for a third. The new director has made a decent imitation of the first and certainly it could have been worse, but that's largely what it is. An imitation. Someone trying to recreate the original, and in the process forgetting the claustrophobia and suspenseful character development to cut right to the chase. If you've seen the first then there's nothing new to be found here. Sequel syndrome strikes again...