Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Descent Part 2

The Descent Part 2 2009
Director: Jon Harris
Writers: J. Blakeson, James McCarthy and James Watkins
Starring Shauna MacDonald, Natalie Mendoza, Krysten Cummings, Douglas Hodges, MyAnna Buring and Adam Harvey
The original Descent is one of the most original and terrifying horror films of recent years and any sequel would have a lot to live up too. Luckily, The Descent Part 2 delivers on all counts. The film picks up right where the first film left off and the way the story develops follows a lot of the same rhythms of Aliens, but that is not a bad thing. It really works for the flow of the story. The direction by Harris is just as claustrophobic as it was in the original and it has some great gore scenes and genuine scares to make the film the total package. The only thing that hampers the film is the ending, it seemed rather futile and pointless and really the film would have been much better if it had ended 30 seconds earlier. This is a thrill ride of a horror film and is a fine sequel to the original film.
The plot basics are this, Sarah Carter (MacDonald) emerges from the cave almost driven insane. She ends up in a hospital and is unable to logically explain what happened to all her friends, she is forced to go with a rescue team back into the caverns and show them what happened. As they delve deeper into the caverns, Sarah begins to have nightmarish visions of what happened to her and her friends in the cave. At first, the team thinks she killed her friends and is making up some outlandish story, but it soon becomes clear that the deformed and monstrous Crawlers are indeed real and soon everyone is fighting for their own survival. It will take all of Sarah;s courage to survive this 2nd onslaught of the creatures and she will have to become as bloodthirsty as them if she wants to survive the day.
This is a tense film. Harris’ direction is very taut and claustrophobic throughout the entire film. He builds up the tension to a fever pitch for many of the scenes. I especially liked when they had to lop off the Sherriff’s hand in order to save themselves that was really brutal and shocking. The script was tight too, it gave you just enough characterization to get the story going and from there it moved at a break neck speed. The interaction between Juno and Sarah when they met again was intense and one of the finest scenes of the film. The only thing that hurts the film is the nonsensical ending; I am still scratching my head over that. The cast is excellent. MacDonald and Mendoza are great and bring a feverish madness to their performances. Cummings is also great as the new heroine in the film, who also finds her inner rage to combat the Crawlers. The SFX and make up effects in the film are amazing as well. I loved the look of the Crawlers, they were quite grotesque and believable looking. The score by David Julyan is quite good too, it adds too the ambience of the suspense and claustrophobia in the film. The only thing that keeps this from being a perfect film is the ending, which still annoys me. It was like they wanted a twist ending just for no other reason but because they could do it. This is still a hell of a good horror movie, though.
This one gets 4 out of 5

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