Sunday, May 2, 2010

Descent: Part 2, The - 3.5/5

Normally with straight to DVD sequels (that's somewhat of a lie here since it hit theaters in the UK at least) its a low budget romp that steals a few pieces of story here, a few pieces of style here and mashes together a new film for the sake of making a quick buck. That's not really the claim with "The Descent: Part 2". In fact, its actually quite the sequel that very much relies on the first to be watchable. Although not near as good, "The Descent: Part 2" does carries its weight most of the time and comes off as a nice partner piece to the modern classic.

Sarah has survived the nightmare. Two days have gone by as local authorities wrangle the news of the missing women whom have not returned from their cave expedition. But Sarah has survived and was found off the road. Unfortunately, to save her own sanity her mind has blanked what has happened for the last few days (convenient for the sake of the plot eh?) so the local sheriff and a rescue group of climbers have decided to take her back down so she can help them find the other missing women. Of course, this isn't a great idea and soon the team find themselves isolated from the world above and fighting off the crawlers as they desperately try to find their way out again.

It's been a bad week for poor Sarah. Although the plot does some odd twists and turns for the sake of the moving forward (really? amnesia?) I am impressed with how it relies on the first film so much. It's not just another group of people that stumble on the crawler community here, they rely on the plot of the first substantially. Thusly, you get no character development really with Sarah (besides some nice residual stuff from the first) and we also get one more surprise character reappearance from the first - can you guess?! Well, I'm not telling. Cause it was a nice surprise and I appreciated it. The film even likes to use some of the same settings from the first - the area with the animal bones, the place where they had to jump/swing across - and its these things that make this quite the sequel and impressed me quite a bit. Slow clap for the movie!

Now on the other hand, this film does have its problems. Continuity for one of them. Sometimes its just odd to have one character do something in one scene and then it be changed during the edit. It was a little bit off setting since this film was doing so good with story and character work (although even those have their 'der!' moments). The movie tries to pull a lot of the elements that worked with the first but never really gets them across either. Not near the tension, isolation, or friction of characters that made the first one classic. It relies on more monster shots, more gore, and more boo scares than it does that darkness and quiet that made the first one so legitimately scary. Not the best tactic considering how well it worked with the first, but I doubt it could top it so why the hell not try a different path, right?

All in all, "The Descent: Part 2" may not have been the classic that the first was, but it was a solid sequel that worked on many of its own accords. Not near as dark and tension filled (it seemed like there was a lot of light for those caves to me) but the film tries to make up for it more with monster goodness. Sometimes the plot did make you slap your forehead, like with our stereotypical shithead cop, but the focus on making it a true sequel ended up winning me over.

PS: What the fuck was with the ending? Already heard there is to be a third one in the series taking place where this leaves off, but still...really? That's what you gave me?

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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