The Descent: Part 2 (2009)
June 22, 2022 10:16 AM - Subscribe

Distraught, confused, and half-wild with fear, Sarah Carter amnesiac spelunker (Shauna Macdonald) emerges alone from the Appalachian cave system where she encountered unspeakable terrors. Unable to plausibly explain to the authorities what happened - or why she's covered in her friends' blood - Sarah is forced back to the subterranean depths to help locate her five missing companions.

Rated 51% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Currently streaming in the US on Peacock and available for digital rental.

Directed by the original film's editor, Jon Harris.
posted by DirtyOldTown (4 comments total)
This is a good example of the kind of sequel you get when you gather together a team of competent but uninspired professionals and ask them, "OK, what happens next?"

The better question would have been "Why was the first one great and how can we honor/echo that without retracing our steps?"

The best parts of the original, the small, all female cast, the relationships between their characters, the film's unnerving stinginess about actually showing the crawlers... all gone. It's doesn't look bad or cheap (although it rarely hits the wow factor of the best shots from the first), it doesn't have worse acting, it has the same music, etc. But the expanded ensemble is a hindrance, not a bonus. Adding the mines could have allowed some nice wrinkles to the visuals, but this just doesn't have the style.

Not at all bad, just middling, which is a special kind of horrible following an original that was just about perfect for what it was.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:20 AM on June 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

The more I think about this, the more irritated I am. My attempt to be generous above was misplaced. This is in fact, that bad.

Random things that irritate me
-much less use of claustrophobia, which seems a waste
-nothing was dripping or soggy this time, which was also discomfitting
-the caves mostly looked like hallways in a Disney ride, broad and tall
-speaking of which, what kind of bullshit small town has a cave system with an entry room so big you could park a school bus in it that no one ever goes to?
-one thing I didn't realize this was missing (until my kid pointed it out) was the way Marshall routinely used only partially illuminated frames to create weird framing. The most obvious example is the diagonal path Sarah takes to climb out (and that shot was mimicked here). This movie mostly had everything lit reasonably well, to the point of the practical light sources not making sense.
-And finally, the communal shit pit seems a poor followup to the basin of blood
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:39 PM on June 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

They made a sequel to The Descent?

Well, I guess they made a sequel to Highlander, so why not this? I mean that turned out fine, right?
posted by Naberius at 10:07 PM on June 22, 2022

I enjoyed the first one SO much that I was bothered right away upon learning about a sequel. Based on your synopsis, DirtyOldTown, I'm glad I've given it a miss. I don't want my enjoyment of the original tarnished.
posted by WhenInGnome at 4:44 PM on June 26, 2022

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