I saw the original Descent movie a couple of years ago and it shook me to the core, and it will forever be one of my favorite horror movies that has ever been created. When I saw that it was on Netflix I freaked and watched it again – still just as scary, but missing one of the best endings I’ve ever seen in film.
I really don’t want to spoil anything, but there was supposed to be an extra couple of minutes on the end of The Descent that really give you a final punch before the credits roll, and it leaves you with that eerie, helpless feeling that good horror movies are supposed to do to you. I was disappointed and a little confused after watching the first one to find the ending slashed short and missing a significant ending. Of course, I remembered a lot of things about this movie as it’s hard to forget – but the way the ending leads you on and then drops you dead was an important shock factor.
I did some research and found that the ending was trimmed for American release, because apparently people didn’t like the “hopeless finale”. Director Neil Marshall (of the first movie) had multiple endings in mind and was okay with the switch, and the alternate ending that I enjoy is available on DVD in the US as an unrated cut. Kind of lame, but whatever. Besides, in order to watch the sequel, the edited version makes it possible otherwise the stories wouldn’t match up.
Anyway, onto the actual sequel. The Descent Part 2 is directed by Jon Harris, and follows Sarah back into the underground cave where she lost her friends and discovered some very unholy creatures. The overall idea of caving is scary enough when you think about the rocks shifting and crashing, but the crawlers that appear in the depths add to the terror. So, from the beginning, I already knew this movie was going to spook me because the crawler design is so disturbing and the task at hand is frightening enough. But as I kept watching the movie, I felt like I was just watching a poorer re-visitation of the same story. Obviously, it’s not the same storyline, but the goal is still the same as the other one: to escape, alive.
The twist in the first movie was a real kicker, and even after watching it a second time it caught me off-guard. In this sequel, the twists were a lot easier to tell. One I expected the second I pressed play, and that one came true by halfway through the movie. The other was just my prediction as a character was way too involved in the beginning and seemed to know too much to be someone that you can trust.
There were chilling callbacks to the original, gruesome scenes of the previous massacre that the new team has to encounter. But I feel like the creatures in the film looked worse, and I can’t really put my finger on why. They seemed more pig-like, and screeched so often that I kind of got annoyed with it. The overall idea of the crawlers is terrifying, but they looked much more freakish in The Descent.
The last thing that pushed me away from liking this sequel was the gore, which again, was different than the first but in small ways. The blood in this movie seemed much more orange and gooey… and I saw the same killing tactic three times – ripping out throats with teeth. The first time I was scared, but by the third time I’m over it. The Descent had very particular camerawork that showed the struggle of humans versus monster, but didn’t have blood spurting from random places and onto victims. In this sequel, the blood was really there for more shock value, where the original kept bloodiness more realistic.
In conclusion, The Descent Part 2 was disappointing in comparison to the first film, released in 2005. But, if you’re like me and would never in your life go into an underground cave, the premise is horrifying. So, if you found the first one scary, you’ll find this one scary too. It won’t be as cinematic and emotion-driven, but it still keeps you on the edge of your seat and wondering what could be lurking behind you.
One huge complaint though about the ending: The unnecessary, unneeded, stupid fucking jumpscare. The only reason it’s in there is to spook you right before the credits come on, and its lame. Nobody deserves that. At least put it in the movie so you actually scare me, not so you’re just scaring me with a loud noise and quick flash of a monster’s face.