Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The Descent: Part 2

Neil Marshall’s excellent 2005 horror The Descent wasn’t exactly crying out for a sequel, in fact the ending that we saw in UK cinemas (changed in the US) pretty much put a full stop on the story. But a film producer’s power of selective amnesia knows no limits, so we’re being served this second helping of underground terror whether it makes sense or not. This time it’s helmed by the first film’s editor, Jon Harris, with Marshall overseeing as an executive producer.

Essentially it’s a re-run of the first film, but in a straight comparison this film is weaker in every respect. Where Marshall spent time establishing characters and creating inter-group tensions that gave the mounting horror emotional depth, Harris can’t wait to get his paper-thin characters down into the caves and start killing them off. Similarly, this second part has none of the original’s unknown quantities, as we already know that once the group get into the caves it’s only a matter of time before the monsters from part one appear to kill them in grisly ways. It’s efficiently made, and there are some effectively gruesome deaths, but the film can be accurately summed up as more of the same, only nowhere near as good.


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