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Double Down Braves THE DESCENT: PART 2!!!

Beaks here...

I don't do well in tight, confined spaces, so Neil Marshall's THE DESCENT did quite a number on me. And since I'm a huge fan of panic attacks, I've been eagerly anticipating the sequel since it was announced last year. The sequel brings back the two leads (Shauna Macdonald as Sarah, and Natalie Jackson Mendoza as Juno), which is quite a feat considering one of them was extremely dead at the end of the first film. Marshall, meanwhile, is only credited as an executive producer; veteran editor Jon Harris - who cut SNATCH and LAYER CAKE as well as THE DESCENT - has been promoted to the director's chair. Can he bring back the claustrophobic terror of Marshall's original? Let's check in with Double Down...
Hi all, I caught the world's first test screening of The Descent: Part 2 last night. My review is below. The Descent: Part 2 I vote for a new title. This film should instead be named The Descent: Remixed. It’s a hip title right? The kids will dig it! Because I don’t see any other crowd they’re making this movie for besides the teenagers who are willing to hand over $12 on opening weekend to sit through some mindless “horror” for an hour and a half, Twitter during it, then forget about it the next morning. Part 2 begins exactly where Part 1 ends and therein lies its first problem of many more to come. If you’re a fan of The Descent (like I am) then you’ll know that the UK version (and I’m assuming the version shown all over the world ex. the U.S. ) ends with our heroine Sarah trapped in the caverns, meditating on the acceptance of her fate and dwelling on her deceased daughter. Then it was bastardized for American audiences because apparently we can’t handle a bleak ending and that final shot was deleted leading us to believe that Sarah gets out of her cavernous hell, gets in her car and as she drives away her “friend” Juno shows up (as a ghost?) in her passenger seat. Role credits. If you haven’t seen it it’s as bad as it sounds. A truly corny mid-level ending to what was honestly one of the few great horror films of this decade. Part 2 opens with Sarah, Shauna Macdonald returns to the role, being found by a local trucker on the Appalachian highway. So now the American ending is being followed? How will this make sense to viewers outside of the U.S. ? Are they (and we who have it on DVD) to believe that she actually did make it out of the cave? I’m assuming that’s the logic the film makers were using and it’s that “logic” that infects the entire film. Sarah conveniently doesn’t remember a thing from her experience and local authorities are in a panicked rush to find the rest of the female spelunkers whose fates we witnessed in the first film. It turns out that Juno, played again by Natalie Jackson Mendoza, is actually the daughter of a Senator, hence the hubbub. We soon learn the rescue team has been looking in the wrong place since as we discovered in the first installment Juno fooled everyone into entering an unknown cave system while deceivingly mapping out a charted one. As soon as the team finds what they think is the right system the local sheriff, who constantly seems overly-concerned, yanks poor Sarah out of the hospital to help them in their search. Sarah remains mute for the first 30 minutes of the film with a terrified look engrained on her face (think Newt in Aliens). As soon as shit starts hitting the stalactites her memory comes rushing back and she turns into Ripley, a confident bad ass who all of a sudden is an expert on how to deal with man-eating sub humans. Meanwhile throughout the entire remainder of the film the rescue team and sheriffs turn into infants who can barely handle themselves. The rest of the story you can honestly fill in if you’ve seen the first one. Rocks fall, people get trapped, the monsters attack (I’m sorry, ancient humans who got stuck but can now find their way out but have evolved so much they can’t get normal jobs on the surface), people die, there are pickaxes through skulls and a big heroic/dramatic ending occurs. It’s that predictable, uninspired and unnecessary. For one the direction (taken on by first timer Jon Harris) just isn’t as well executed as it was with original director Neil Marshall. I felt the geography of the cave systems were much more comprehensible under Marshall ’s photography. The caves themselves even looked more authentic. Almost every shot in Part 2 looks like a set and that makes it inherently less creepy. Marshall also conveyed a much better sense of claustrophobia than Harris does in the systems, especially in the trapped scenes. The dialogue is completely forgettable, even laughable toward the end. Not to say the original had fantastic dialogue but the characters were more well-developed and sympathetic. There’s also something to say about the all female cast of the original. The dynamics of that group were much more intriguing. Here we have men and women running aimlessly through the rock and it just seems less unique. The third act is noticeably sluggish and monotonous. We’ve been in these systems before. We’ve seen people react exactly the same way when the monsters show up - “what are these things?!”, “we have to find a way out!” And in the caverns this new cast comes across every dead body which we saw dispersed of in the original – as if to remind us this film is just a corpse of its predecessor. As you’ve seen from the trailer Juno is inexplicably alive and acts just as Sarah does - a fully fledged bad ass who can now take out multiple creatures at the same time. I’d write more but all I’d like to say is this: fucking stupid. There are however some cool scenes, fret not gore hounds. Sarah and the Sheriff’s deputy battle a creature in a pool (much like the 1st one) and soon after realize the pool ain’t filled with water. There is some intensity to be found such as a close-quarters scene where a girl from the rescue team gets trapped in a tiny passage and a creature attacks. There are also a couple of creative and gory set pieces in the endless chasm from the first film. Overall, there is a decent amount of blood-letting in which the shots last for a few too many seconds entering into exploitative territory. And the blood itself was that great fake 70’s blood, that truly bright red from Giallo films. Yet the kills themselves are uninventive and no different from the first film. Throat tears and axes to the skulls - not even an eye gouge was to be found. This is arguably gorier and more violent but not noticeably more so. I was terrified that they’d feel the need to up the ante with these creatures and show us a “mother alien” or God forbid a creature hybrid of some sort (Predalien anyone?), but thankfully the writers chose to put down the bong and not fall into this cliché chasm. The problem is we don’t learn anything new about these creatures - nothing about their origin, or how their community works; are they are unique to these Appalachian Mountains ? We learn the same things we did in the first, less in fact. They’re blind, hunt above ground and like the taste of human flesh when it’s delivered to them. You arguably learn a tidbit at the very end of the film. Of course I won’t give it away but there is a twist. And it makes no sense - again keeping in line with the original (at least the American ending). It actually downright pissed me off because it is so unexplained and unsubstantiated throughout the whole film it’s like a punch in the gut and a poor gimmick which seems like a desperate ploy to be set apart from the original and God forbid setup a third installment. There is also the typical slew of pop-up scares with musical cue hits to tell you that you should jump at this point and those moments where the monster is right behind them. These creatures act a bit more menacing, screaming at you for a good amount of time before they eat you, but it is actually less affecting toward the audience – they just aren’t as scary now, in fact they often come across as goofy and devoid of intelligence. The camera work is helmed by the same cinematographer from the first, Sam McCurdy, and the action scenes are still just as shaky. Is it possible to hold a camera still in horror anymore or is that a stipulation in contracts now? The Descent: Part 2 is like dating a fatter, dumber version of your ex. What’s the point? Just go back to the original if you get the urge to go spelunking again. Please check out soundwavescinema.com for more. Thanks! Double Down

Readers Talkback
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  • May 7, 2009, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Great first flick

    by VegasRonReturns

    That is all.

  • May 7, 2009, 7:15 p.m. CST

    I Liked The First One...

    by HapaPapa72

    Depressing, but good!

  • May 7, 2009, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Nice

    by OutlawsDelejos

  • May 7, 2009, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Wait, that makes no sense at all.

    by OutlawsDelejos

  • May 7, 2009, 7:22 p.m. CST

    Why do they bother with sequels that mirror that first?

    by OutlawsDelejos

    Just watch the first fucken movie.

  • May 7, 2009, 7:24 p.m. CST

    The First One Was A Blast

    by 33.3rpm

    I can't wait to not see one frame of this version for mall rats. I hope I don't even see the one sheet. Punish producers for dumbing down franchises and they will do it less. Punish them by keeping your money.

  • May 7, 2009, 7:30 p.m. CST

    so it's bad...

    by Cruzboy

    that was predictable.

  • May 7, 2009, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Guess I'll be skipping this one.

    by darthsynn

    I'm content with the first film.

  • May 7, 2009, 7:35 p.m. CST

    One of them was dead?

    by chuffsterUK

    In the UK print,everyone died,they changed the ending for the US!

  • May 7, 2009, 7:37 p.m. CST

    The American ending of the original is the single dumbest

    by jimmay

    move ever made by a studio anywhere at any point in film history. It takes a great, claustrophobic, character driven horror movie--I don't have to tell you how much of a rarity that is--and then completely flushes the preceeding 90 minutes down the commode. I can't bitch enough about it. Whoever greenlit the idea should never again know freedom from constant ridicule. <p> In all honesty, I consider the American theatrical ending one of the worst moments in cinematic history, and it underscores just how pivotal having a good-solid ending in a movie really is.

  • May 7, 2009, 7:43 p.m. CST

    The fist one sucked too

    by cantankerous

    It looked great and started off well enough, but it was too much to ask the audience to believe that there could be a devolved species of humans living in dark caves ... when they had access to the freakin' surface! I particularly hate this one because it had the potential to be great.

  • May 7, 2009, 7:43 p.m. CST

    lazy

    by NinjaChampion

    I thought they were going to make the sequel about a different group of people. I think I read that it was going to be a bunch of male cave explorers. Guess they changed their mind and went with what they thought was a safe idea.

  • May 7, 2009, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Cantankerous...

    by VegasRonReturns

    ..you're a fucking idiot. Fucking. Idiot.

  • May 7, 2009, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Wait, they hunt ABOVE ground?

    by D.Vader

    I don't recall that happening in the first one... am I remembering wrong?

  • May 7, 2009, 7:49 p.m. CST

    The American ending isn't terrible

    by D.Vader

    Just typical.

  • May 7, 2009, 7:51 p.m. CST

    Vader...

    by Flames gotta Eat

    they can't bank on the slim chance that humans come down for a visit for survival, so they do indeed go up to the surface to hunt animals. This is explained in the first one and the second. There exit is the hole Sarah comes out of in the first. The fact that they hunt above ground is the reason the girls knew there was a way out in the first place.

  • May 7, 2009, 7:52 p.m. CST

    The Descent sucked

    by ballyhoo

    I can't express how disappointed and pissed I was after watching a film so praised.

  • May 7, 2009, 7:57 p.m. CST

    No, it was terrible.

    by jimmay

    The movie up to that point had been far-fetched, but still vaguely believable. Caves, and the darkness they provide, are naturally scary. Weirdly primitive early human creatures, though a stretch, aren't completely off the wall, so together the two worked. Then the ending comes along, a hallucination in the real version, which doesn't completely defy logic, but in the American bullshit version, A FUCKING GHOST!!!! Yes, a fucking ghost pops up, out of fucking nowhere, at the end of a film about cave-dwelling subhuman monsters. What. The. Fuck. If you can't see the obvious stupid there I can't help you.

  • May 7, 2009, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Sounds terrible. The sequel i want to see are: Severence and

    by future help

    and Behind the Mask: the Rise of Leslie Vernon (and maybe another Timber Falls)

  • May 7, 2009, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Monsters were kind of weak actually

    by drewlicious

    I liked them, don't get me wrong, but they were physically weak as monsters go. Thats why the first film had a real struggle. The women stood a chance at killing these things and the creatures had the advantage of numbers and hunting on their own turf. Now apparently in this film they must be stronger and craftier in or order to take down a bunch of guys who are probably more than strong enough for the job. In other words this one sounds like unwatchable bullshit already.

  • May 7, 2009, 8:19 p.m. CST

    jimmay...

    by DarthCorleone

    I'm not saying the American ending was spectacular, but I don't think it was that bad. I didn't interpret Juno as being a ghost; she's simply another vision that Sarah has that brings home the point that Sarah might have escaped, but she will always be haunted by the traumatic experience, her guilt, and her own descent into murderous madness. In some ways I think that's more of a down ending than the original cut, for those who claim that it's some sort of happy-ending sellout. The appearance of Juno perfectly jibes with the hallucinatory motif that Sarah experiences throughout the film and reinforces the fact that she is still deeply psychologically scarred.<br><br>That all said, yes, I do prefer the original ending.

  • May 7, 2009, 8:22 p.m. CST

    First one was awesome

    by Tin Snoman

    a second is totally unnecessary.

  • May 7, 2009, 8:22 p.m. CST

    I don't know...

    by wampa 1

    ...but it sure smells good!

  • May 7, 2009, 8:22 p.m. CST

    I hated The Descent

    by NoQuarter

    Every single character was annoying as hell, the plot was non-existent and the gore was over-the-top to the point of stupidity (but not to the point that it was funny).

  • May 7, 2009, 8:29 p.m. CST

    D2: the subhumans are back

    by Jesiah

    And since the Filipina from part 1 is a senator's daughter, they got some splainin' to do!

  • May 7, 2009, 8:37 p.m. CST

    The first one was AWFUL!

    by TheEnemy8

    I still don't understand why people like the first one. besides the one scene that blocks their way back out, that movie is AWFUL. The sequel to D2 should take place 200 years from now on a different planet in a different set of caves with laser beams and plasma grenades. any takers?

  • May 7, 2009, 8:40 p.m. CST

    Darth, I can see that,

    by jimmay

    if you apply your knowledge of what the original ending was, you'll see it as a hallucination. Of course, if you only saw the American version, that context isn't there. You see the Juno ghost, BAM it ends. It plays out, again, completely out of context as the cheapest jump scare-ending-twist in horror film history, which is exactly what the studio thought the American audience would love about it. Thankfully, they were wrong. Not even Americans are that stupid. It's an insult, frankly to all us Yanks, and I've never stopped taking it personally.

  • May 7, 2009, 8:41 p.m. CST

    Ninja Assasin will MAKE IT RAIN—

    by blakindigo

    I just found this interview with John Gaeta:<br><br> http://tinyurl.com/cp2ks8<br><br> Looking better and better.

  • May 7, 2009, 8:43 p.m. CST

    jimmay, thank you!

    by NoQuarter

    That ending was six different kinds of bullshit. I guess I wouldn't have hated the movie as much, though, if the poster hadn't said something to the effect of it being the scariest movie since "Alien." I hate being lied to!

  • May 7, 2009, 8:44 p.m. CST

    Cleaner link

    by blakindigo

    http://tinyurl.com/cp2ks8

  • May 7, 2009, 8:54 p.m. CST

    laughable

    by Clarence Boddicker

    I love it when "critics" on this site dive into a horror sequel and then review it like it should have been War and Peace. Fuck off. Horror films like this are just a giant bag of chips. Enjoy, regret, then shit it out. Delving anymore into it is like a monkey examining it's own feces.

  • May 7, 2009, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Much like the Hills Have Eyes sequel....

    by The Dum Guy

    I haven't seen the original sequel, but I wonder if it is as bad as the sequel to the remake (Hills)?

  • May 7, 2009, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Should have been breeding females

    by EvilWizardGlick

    Blah, blah, blah genetics, blah blah isolated community, more blah, capturing females for breeding. <p> That was the unrealistic part of the first. The women would have been breeders not food.

  • May 7, 2009, 9:07 p.m. CST

    The Dum Guy Original sequel sucked

    by EvilWizardGlick

    God was it horrible.

  • May 7, 2009, 9:10 p.m. CST

    The First One Sucked So They're 2 For 2

    by KISSman24

    Sounds like more of the same crap.

  • May 7, 2009, 9:11 p.m. CST

    D.Vader Maybe stolen from Wells Machen and Lovecraft.

    by EvilWizardGlick

    Really aren't all underground dwellers stolen from Wells, Machen and Lovecraft?

  • May 7, 2009, 9:16 p.m. CST

    So Juno is somehow alive????

    by pdennett316

    And the daughter of a Senator? You'd think that might have come up in the first one really. <p> Also, didn't she get a climbing axe in the throat or the chest? Are we to believe that Jason Vorhees' mother fucked a Latino senator? You'd think she'd die of blood loss or at least be stricken with infection, not ass-kicking a bunch of mutants waiting to be rescued. <p> I love how much the studios underestimate you Yanks, pretty insulting no?

  • May 7, 2009, 9:38 p.m. CST

    Juno is Chev Chelios' cousin and is emotionaly unstable...

    by The Dum Guy

    From post partem (sp?) depression.

  • May 7, 2009, 9:40 p.m. CST

    jimmay...

    by DarthCorleone

    You don't need to apply knowledge of the original ending to see it as a hallucination. She has several hallucinations throughout the film, so it fits in with those. Anyway, sorry to quibble - we're basically on the same page - I just don't feel as harshly about it. :- )

  • May 7, 2009, 9:51 p.m. CST

    I'm here to talk about Star Trek!

    by Castlemonster

    And I'm drawing a blank. How ironic.

  • May 7, 2009, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Jimmy, its not a ghost

    by D.Vader

    Its just a literal manifestation of the events haunting her. I certainly didn't see it as an "oh shit, its a ghost!" moment, and I would think most people who DO think that's the case to be a little bit small-minded. <p> I took it as a moment that said "This shit will haunt her for a long time". Typical ending in the "last scare" vein, but not terrible.

  • May 7, 2009, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Wasn't the whole point of The Descent...

    by Amy Chasing

    that it was both a descent into madness and a literal descent underground? I thought that was what they were going for with the original ending which is what saved that movie for me. Like Se7en, to have a sequel would undermine the point of the original. From that stand-point it's a shame they made De2cent. Hope Se7en never gets an Ei8ht.

  • May 7, 2009, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Juno takes a pickaxe to the thigh...

    by VegasRonReturns

    ...and we don't see her die, though it's heavily implied.<p> No way in hell is that any kind of endorsement for the wholly unnecessary sequel. Just sayin'.<p> On a side note, this is one of those litmus test movies for me. If you don't at least like it, you're a fucking idiot.

  • May 7, 2009, 10:09 p.m. CST

    In infinitely more relevant news: RATNER IS OFF THE CONAN PRODU

    by paralyser-pro

    http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=55234 I'd like to see Marshall or Howard McCain take the helm.

  • May 7, 2009, 10:16 p.m. CST

    they put down the bong

    by frank cotton

    excellent line! i didn't hate the first one, but the 'feral humans' just didn't do it for me

  • May 7, 2009, 10:24 p.m. CST

    People seriously thought Juno was a Ghost?

    by Chewtoy

    Honestly, if people take things that literally, they need to come down off their high horses about how stupid the ending was. I saw the American version first, and I never once thought "OMG! A Ghost!" I thought the point was pretty clear... there isn't any "getting out" after an experience like that.

  • May 7, 2009, 10:34 p.m. CST

    The first was excellent, fuck you sll

    by reflecto

    This will likely be shit so nevermind

  • May 7, 2009, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Whether you think they meant to imply Juno was a ghost

    by jimmay

    Or just chose, lamely, to end a movie that had been relatively subtle-at least for a horror film-with a jump scare hallucination, either way it was supremely stupid. <p> By the way, watch the ending again, Juno is dark blue in color, as a talkbacker noted earlier, she doesn't even look much like the "living" character. She's meant to look a ghost. Don't believe me that people came away with that idea? google "juno ghost descent ending" and watch how many entries come up with just that phrase.

  • May 7, 2009, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Sure, she's meant to look like a ghost, jimmay

    by D.Vader

    Because you're meant to think the character will be haunted. She looks "dead" because if they had Juno appear all rosy-cheeked and whatnot, people would be confused and think Juno somehow got out alive and made it back to the car. <p> Hence the discoloration. <p> And Jimmay, you thought the film had been "relatively subtle" for a horror film?

  • May 7, 2009, 10:51 p.m. CST

    A g-g-g-g-g-g-GHOST!!!

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Jesus, who thought Juno was a literal fucking GHOST in The Descent?! I always thought Juno's final appearance in the car was simply Sissy Spacek chick's severely strained, guilt-ridden mind finally snapping for good.<br><br>As for the U.S. vs. U.K. endings...I actually liked both. Cutting the last minute and flashback to Sissy Spacek in the cave isn't really that ruinous. Yeah, cutting the U.K. ending implies that S.S. survives, but she's also a shrieking psychologically terrorized mess haunted by visions of her friends that died (and the one she "killed" herself). That's not a bullshit "happy" ending to me. Both versions of the ending work on different levels, although the U.K. version is the only one where the recurring "birthday cake" visions S.S. has throughout the movie finally make sense.

  • May 7, 2009, 10:51 p.m. CST

    As far as taking it literally,

    by jimmay

    When you end on that very image, instead of, as the real ending did, showing her snap into reality back in the cave, you're choosing to leave a pretty literal image in people's minds. If the original ending made you think, congratulations, I think you managed it despite the film's intentions' because it plays out like a meaningless and nonsensical scare ala Carrie reaching up from the grave. At least in that film it was fairly obvious the whole thing was a dream.

  • May 7, 2009, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Let me rephrase- she's meant to look dead

    by D.Vader

    But I dont think you're meant to think she's literally a ghost.

  • May 7, 2009, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Awe, poop.

    by kirttrik

    The first was so good. 1) A sequel shouldn't be made. 2)If sequel made needs to follow the UK ending. 3)I'm sick of Ripley rip-offs, ok I get it, women can totally kick ass, there no longer damsels in distress. All right, ok, let's try a new storyline now.

  • May 7, 2009, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Blu-Ray Ending....

    by Mindworm22

    ...had her in the truck, throwing up out the window then looking in the passenger seat only to see her "friend" alongside her. It then flashed back to the cave, with her getting up off the rock and moving towards her daughter in front of the birthday cake. Magnificent ending to a fantastic movie. Loved it. I assume that was the original ending then?

  • May 7, 2009, 11:22 p.m. CST

    RATNER IS OFF 'CONAN!'

    by uberman

    CONAN needs to be more in the spirit of the FRAZETTA paintings and less like the Marvel/Buchemi (?) comic from the 70's. Ratners Conan would have been nothing like a Frazetta and more like a lame marvel comic. Oh, and as far as the DESCENT 2, I would have had to be really impressed with the original before I would see a sequel. The original started off good, got creepy, then turned into a lame-o slasher flick with buckets of blood. Really fucked itself by the time it was over-could have been a contender but ended up another predictable, cheap, dull horror film. Shame.

  • May 7, 2009, 11:44 p.m. CST

    There's no ice in rock caverns.

    by wintocha67

    So why are they carrying ice axes?

  • May 8, 2009, midnight CST

    And this is what JOHN CARPENTER'S THE SECOND THING would be like

    by TheGoddamnSiege

    Because The Descent was basically The Thing in a cave with a different monster.

  • May 8, 2009, 12:03 a.m. CST

    Just read about Brett "the piece of shit" Ratner is off Conan!!

    by peopleintrees

    fuck yeah bitches! someone bring on the titties and head's chopping off!

  • May 8, 2009, 12:12 a.m. CST

    FIRST ONE - Had to watch it in two sittings-

    by noncents

    It was that boring.

  • May 8, 2009, 1:03 a.m. CST

    jimmay

    by TheExterminator

    evidently your are thick as pig shit. you failed at even grasping the dumbed down ending. haha oh dear

  • May 8, 2009, 1:09 a.m. CST

    TheGoddamnSiege

    by VegasRonReturns

    Do you even understand the underlying themes of The Thing?

  • May 8, 2009, 1:29 a.m. CST

    The Descent doesn't need a sequel!

    by BiggusDickus

    ...and since in the REAL version of the film all the women are dead at then end anyway, how is a sequel even possible?<p>Damn teenage American target group test-audiences. Shoot 'em all, I say.

  • May 8, 2009, 1:37 a.m. CST

    She wasn't a ghost ...

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    ... and the things at the end of AI weren't aliens.

  • May 8, 2009, 2:10 a.m. CST

    I've just got back from YouTube...

    by BiggusDickus

    ...where I saw what you Yanks actually got for an ending to The Descent. You poor buggers! No wonder some people on here don't seem to rate the original movie...

  • May 8, 2009, 2:16 a.m. CST

    Hey uberman

    by Continentalop

    Don't knock Marvel's Conan series, especially the ones drawn by Buscema. His Conan actually looked Barbaric and vicious, and while some of the Conan stories were pretty comic book cheesy, other stories he did with Roy Thomas were pretty good adaptations (Rogues in the House, Tower of the Elephant, God in the Bowl and The Frost Giant's Daughter were all pretty faithful). <p> But I do agree it should be less like a comic and much more gritty and brutal, fitting Howard’s style and philosophy. I would love to see John Hilcoat direct it.

  • May 8, 2009, 2:18 a.m. CST

    VegasRonReturns

    by TheGoddamnSiege

    Uh... Yes, as a matter of fact. Don't take my comment as an insult to The Thing or even The Descent, for that matter. I consider The Thing to be a cinematic masterpiece and possibly the greatest horror film ever produced. Regardless, it doesn't take repeated viewings to notice that The Descent was crafted from The Thing's mold. The isolation-based terror, paranoia, the single-gender cast, etc. Hell, even The Descent's score was reminiscent of Ennio Morricone's work in The Thing.

  • May 8, 2009, 2:48 a.m. CST

    Descent 2 eh?

    by SunTzu77

    I wasn't impressed by the first one.

  • May 8, 2009, 2:57 a.m. CST

    Descent by Jeff Long...

    by ErnestBorgNine

    the novel, now that would make a kickass movie. For Ridley Scott. Make it so.

  • May 8, 2009, 3:18 a.m. CST

    The ending of TIMBER FALLS

    by thegreatwhatzit

    was a cheat; moronic and predictable, sinking into a pothole that compatatively made the finale of JAWS 3D look like "Rosebud":.

  • May 8, 2009, 3:27 a.m. CST

    TheGoddamnSiege

    by VikingQuestFan42

    Isolation, paranoia, etc. are common themes in a lot of horror movies. That and the score don't make it obvious that it was crafted in the same mold as The Thing. That would be like saying The Passion of the Christ was crafted after Angels in the Outfield because they both have the themes of religion, faith, etc.

  • May 8, 2009, 3:28 a.m. CST

    IDIOTS. FUCKING MORONS

    by Lost Jarv

    The following people are cretinous homunculi and never allowed an opinion again: <P>NoQuarter, Cantankerous, Kissman. <P>Stick to hostel, dipshits.

  • May 8, 2009, 3:39 a.m. CST

    I saw it on DVD where there was two endings back to back

    by chien_sale

    She came out of the hole, get into the car, start seeing things until she realises she's still in the cave

  • May 8, 2009, 4:19 a.m. CST

    This and Hatchet

    by ThePilgrim

    Two of the worse AICN highly praised horrors ever. Can't wait to see that Hatchet Director rip off Hitchocks LifeBoat with his new film Frozen.

  • May 8, 2009, 4:23 a.m. CST

    Quint needs to watch Lifeboat

    by ThePilgrim

    Before he see's Frozen. I suggested it for the Halloween HMAD and his hitchcock AMAD romp. Still no Amulet.. Dracula Wants The Amulet... Just Sayin, is all.

  • May 8, 2009, 5:17 a.m. CST

    One word: subtlety

    by Lemure_v2

    Europe has it, the US doesn't. Horror films require subtlely. Hence why all the decent horror films of the last few years have not been from the US: Let The Right One In, Eden Lake, etc

  • May 8, 2009, 6 a.m. CST

    Lost Jarv, quit whinning

    by cantankerous

    I gave a reason why The Descent sucked. You give us a reason why it was any good. Once the movie revealed that the de-evolved cave humans had access to the surface, the whole premise went up in flames. Poof! If your only criteria for movie monsters is that they are hungry and jump out of the dark at inopportune times, this flick is for you.

  • May 8, 2009, 6:39 a.m. CST

    That's Too Bad

    by Cobbio

    I really liked the first film, since I only saw the British version. I'd heard the American remix destroyed the story's ending, thus I skipped straight to Neil Marshall's original, far more badass conception of what happens.<p> Of all the horror movies I've seen recently, "The Descent" is the film that LEAST needs a sequel. I mean, really. Leave the horrific, brutally claustrophobic, Hieronymus Bosch-inspired dark elements alone.<p> Oh yeah, and none of those women were badasses in fighting or weapons of any kind. That's what made the movie really scary.<p> I smell franchise.

  • May 8, 2009, 6:40 a.m. CST

    Those last two sentences

    by BeatsMe

    are killer. I'm gonna go read more of your stuff.

  • May 8, 2009, 6:43 a.m. CST

    Wicked revier, thanks for confirming...

    by Cat_Corporation

    ...that this is a big pile of shit. Most pointless sequel ever, building on the stoopidest excuse for an ending ever. I still don't understand WHY they changed the ending for the US, what a total insult to audiences! AVOID!

  • May 8, 2009, 6:48 a.m. CST

    considering that America produces

    by Seph_J

    an ass load of films, and coincidently an ASSLOAD of them are crap and have crappy endings, I would say that the "we can’t handle a bleak ending" thing is true. Unless it's a cookie cutter bleak ending. Which is why Frank Darabont is cool... as he even managed to out-bleak Stephen King.

  • May 8, 2009, 6:52 a.m. CST

    Too bad. I loved the original.

    by Psyclops

    I thought THE DESCENT was one of the best horror films in recent memory, certainly one of the few that has actually managed to creep me out since the glory days of John Carpenter and Clive Barker. I was afraid that a sequel just wouldn't live up to the original and it sounds like that is unfortunately the case here. Maybe there's good old fashioned B-movie fun to be had with the sequel but I'd rather have no follow-up than a mediocre one.

  • May 8, 2009, 7:45 a.m. CST

    I dunno man, ever been to Appalachia?

    by Kid Z

    ... Some of those mountain folks in "regular jobs" actually look like they go home to a lost cave system and dine on human flesh every evening after work. Genetic isolation in rural environments'll do it every time!

  • May 8, 2009, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Version I saw on Comcast On Deman...

    by Kid Z

    ...actually had BOTH endings. She ends up giving up in the cave, but then climbs out & drives aways then boom... she's back in the cave again, her escape was a dream/hallucination/whatever... fade to black.

  • May 8, 2009, 8:15 a.m. CST

    TheExterminator

    by jimmay

    "Failing to grasp" an ending that doesn't make sense is hardly a sign of "thickness." Bandying insults on a message board, however, almost uniformly is.

  • May 8, 2009, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Reviewers Ending Trumps

    by Yeah I Wrote That

    all three Descent endings. I'm impressed.

  • May 8, 2009, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Why did it go up in Flames?

    by Lost Jarv

    because you're a complete fucking imbecile. The Descent was probably the best Horror film of the last 10 years. <P>Stick to your torture Porn shit like saw

  • May 8, 2009, 9:53 a.m. CST

    I cannot be happy about this

    by OGoncho

    I really took to the first one. First film to genuinely scare the shit out of me in places in a loooong time, so this whole sequel to the American ending bullshit just pisses me off.

  • May 8, 2009, 10:22 a.m. CST

    jimmay

    by just pillow talk

    I fail to see how you can say there was a ghost at the end of the American version . Seriously. It was completely in her head that she thought she saw something that wasn't there. I thought that was pretty obvious.<p>cantankerous - I fail to see how them hunting on the surface detracts from the movie. How does that take away from the fear being felt by the chicks in the caves, and then being hunted by those things?

  • May 8, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Wasn't one Descent bad enuff?

    by necrom33

    and now the sequel is supposedly WORSE?? Pass!

  • May 8, 2009, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Lost Jarv

    by NoQuarter

    Fuck off, man. I haven't even seen Hostel or Saw, so don't even pretend to have a clue about what I do or don't like. I don't watch nor do I like "torture porn." I hated The Descent because I couldn't stand any of the characters and I thought the plot, where it existed at all, was completely nonsensical (but not campy enough to be funny). I haven't criticized you for holding your opinions, so get off my fucking back about mine.

  • May 8, 2009, 11:32 a.m. CST

    That sai,d I've only seen the American ending

    by NoQuarter

    and will happily admit that, if I saw the "real" (UK) ending, it's possible that my feelings about the movie might change if it really is that much better than the ending we got here.

  • May 8, 2009, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Shit, those fucking spiders HISS?!

    by D.Vader

    That'd be the scariest fucking thing ever, to hear a spider come barking at you.

  • May 8, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST

    FUCK! Wrong TB again

    by D.Vader

    Shite.

  • May 8, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST

    OK, just for shits and giggles - here's my list...

    by BiggusDickus

    ...of decent stand-alone movies whose memories have been sullied by pointless, inferior sequels<p> Highlander<p>The Crow<p>The Matrix<p>Ghostbusters<p>Planet of the Apes (doubly insulted by a 're-imagining' as well)<p>Jaws<p>Speed<p>Hallowe'en<p>The Fly...Man, I could go on and on.<p>Oh, and the missus says 'Grease', too.

  • May 8, 2009, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Juno was not a "ghost" in the U.S. ending.

    by TheLastCleric

    She was a manifestation of Sarah's madness. I do prefer the original ending but I felt the U.S. ending was still pretty fucked up, as Sarah's own decent into madness completely nullifies her escape from the caves. It was hardly a typical, upbeat ending. Regardless, this sequel makes zero sense because even assuming Sarah escaped, Juno was obviously dead. Even if she did escape that horde at the end, her leg was destroyed by Sarah's pick axe.

  • May 8, 2009, 11:54 a.m. CST

    siege

    by KILLALITRE

    never ever put the thing in the same post as the descent,thanx

  • May 8, 2009, 12:01 p.m. CST

    LastCleric...

    by Flames gotta Eat

    In Part 2 Juno has some makeshift leg brace on and she hobbles around. BeatsMe and Yeah I Wrote That - thanks for the props. All in all guys Part 2 is not horrible in my opinion, it's just unnecessary and a total retread. It boasts some decent scares and gore but the level of film making is just not on par with the original and the lack of new ideas is disappointing. A good sequel should at least expand on the mythology established by the first film.

  • May 8, 2009, 12:33 p.m. CST

    i'm afraid it does

    by TheExterminator

    jimmay. I'm afraid it does

  • May 8, 2009, 12:47 p.m. CST

    AsimovLives

    by NoQuarter

    Thanks, I will check that out sometime.

  • May 8, 2009, 12:50 p.m. CST

    re: Why did it go up in Flames?

    by cantankerous

    Because the monsters MADE NO SENSE, and the movie made the unpardonable sin of making that very apparent while one was watching it. Maybe the movie fooled some less discerning viewers, but if you have more than a couple synapses snapping, you would have seen right through the monster effects and makeup. This flick is little more than a 'monster jumps out of the dark' movie, with enough logical conundrums to swamp the Bismarck. I can tell why you’re confused and belligerent, Lost Jarv. The movie looked good, and had a couple frightening moments. You probably wet yourself the first time you saw the monster. Unfortunately, I think you’ve elevated the film beyond its merit to justify an embarassing bladder control problem. I suggest therapy and medication.

  • May 8, 2009, 12:55 p.m. CST

    The first was solid...the 2nd -well OF COURSE it stunk

    by ScottinDC

    Horror devolved into remake and J-horror hell with a smattering of suck-ass torture porn...for us horror fans, it was like being lost in the wilderness. The Descent was a brutal breath of fresh air...only marred by a terrible ending (I'm not a huge fan of either ending but the UK's was clearly superior). The decision to make a sequel was in poor taste and based more on finances than good intentions. And the only reason Neil Marshall even agreed to produce was the abysmal box office of Doomsday (a totally flawed movie that I enjoyed regardless). Will I see The Descent 2? Not in the theaters...a later viewing is TBD.

  • May 8, 2009, 1:46 p.m. CST

    In the original, the monsters are merely a catalyst

    by TheLastCleric

    The real issue is the dynamics of friendship and how those dynamics change and break down in the face of stressors, specifically situations where lives are at immediate risk. None of the ladies in the first film are bad people but Juno is so myopic and arrogant that she places them all into a seriously dangerous situation and as the film progresses we get a sense of just how selfish she really is. Running parallel to that is Sarah’s mental instability, which continues to unravel as the situation becomes more dire, finally leading to the collision of both conflicts when Sarah, realizing who Juno really is, hobbles her and leaves her for dead (Ironically, Juno dies because she finally goes beyond her selfishness and tries to save Sarah), only then to retreat completely into her own insanity, almost blissfully unaware of her impending death. The creatures are merely one of the stressors and like the cave, they are simply a force that has no sympathy for the female intruders.

  • May 8, 2009, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Great, the movie is a bastard

    by Vesuvio

    Now I'll simply continue to ignore it as I originally planned.

  • May 8, 2009, 2:31 p.m. CST

    LastCleric

    by gavdiggity

    is spot on.

  • May 8, 2009, 5:15 p.m. CST

    With All Due Respect

    by RaRoMo

    No disrespect to Double Down, but I'm anxiously looking forward to the sequel. The first one was great-- one of the best horror films in recent years. So I'm not going to see the sequel, with many of the same principals involved, because someone I don't even know says it's no good? Even if it isn't as great as the original, it's still likely to better than most of the horror films released today. (I can go the entire rest of my life without seeing yet another American adaptation of a Japanese ghost movie that features children with black hair hanging over their face.)

  • May 8, 2009, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Re: AsimovLives

    by cantankerous

    I honestly can’t think of any movies I once hated but now like. I can think of a few that go the other way, though. The thing with The Descent is that it is _not_ a complete crapfest. It does have some admirable qualities. Unfortunately for me they are overshadowed by the logical inconsistencies that seem to plaque all lazy filmmaking and a less than satisfying ending (yes, the European one). My expectations for this flick were higher, so the disappointment is greater. I doubt my opinion of it will change much in the future … unless I intent to make myself the intellectual equivalent of Lost Jarv by jamming a chopstick up my nose and performing a frontal lobotomy.

  • May 8, 2009, 5:37 p.m. CST

    RaRoMo

    by Flames gotta Eat

    By all means go see it. It's honestly not horrible and is much more bearable than the "horror" films we're supplied with every month. But I guaruntee you won't love it. I love the original like you do, it's the whole reason I even went to this screening, but while sitting through this one I was just yearning to see the original because everything was done so much better. And this remake is sickly similiar in every way. It's still got some cool gory/scary parts though.

  • May 8, 2009, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Oh come on Exterminator,

    by jimmay

    That's the best you can come up with? You could have said that it was only my thickness that kept it from making sense, or that the ending did make sense, I'm just thick. I mean come on, how hard is it to anonymously trash someone on the internet? <p> You win no points, but keep that smug sense of mental superiority going, it will take you everywhere in life. And by all means, continue to contribute your childish invective around here, it's vastly appreciated. I look eagerly forward to your sterling contributions to the dialogue with such scintillating ruminations as comparing talkbackers to animal excrement. You're a classy guy; a gentlemen and a scholar.

  • May 9, 2009, 1:57 a.m. CST

    In the making of...

    by TheGoddamnSiege

    On the DVD for The Descent, the guy who directed it even discussed his inspiration from The Thing. Granted, I haven't watched the film or said featurette in, oh, two years or so, but I do remember that.

  • May 9, 2009, 6:33 p.m. CST

    what's this american ending is different nonsense?

    by Bouncy X

    the way people talk, you'd think it was a completely different ending. its not like they filmed a new ending or re-edited anything, they simply stopped it at an earlier point. and the original ending is left up in question, we dont know for a fact she stayed there forever and died. they wanted a sequel so they thought "ok she escaped off screen". seems typical of excuses for making sequels.

  • May 10, 2009, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Actually, the UK ending is the less interesting one...

    by Castlemonster

    Since it makes it pretty clear what happened. The people who prefer the UK ending are the ones who like a neat, tidy explanation.

  • May 10, 2009, 2:16 p.m. CST

    If you like the UK ending better

    by Castlemonster

    I'm going to kick your fucking homo ass. Seeing Juno in the car was just a subtle indication that Sarah had only imagined escaping the cave, The last shot still shows her "waking up" and probably still in the cave, unless the whole movie following her accident was just a dream in itself. There are so many possible interpretaions with the American ending, the UK ending is the ending that doesn't give the viewer credit. The American ending leaves you to ponder whether it was real or a fantasy and at what point did the fantasy begin? I'm sure the director didn't intend for Juno to be perceived as being a ghost at the end. If you think that way it is you who are stupid and in need of an ending that spells everything out. Go die!

  • May 12, 2009, 12:19 a.m. CST

    You Dumb

    by Cujo_Fugate

    fucks that don't like the original should be castrated. The Descent was a unique, scary, and intelligently crafted horror movie. Most of you inbred, mouthbreathing, dumbshits are used to watching Saw 9 over and over again and wouldn't know an excellent horror movie if it kicked you in your stupid fucking mouths. Go eat an ass.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 5:11 p.m. CST

    The Descent Part 2 - Why,why,why?

    by knibbo1

    Just seen a preview showing of the Descent Part 2 here in Southampton, England hosted by exec producer Paul Smith who gave a rather lackluster introduction. After watching the film I am not at all surprised!!! There are so many reasons this is a bad film but to list them would only act as numerous spoilers! However one thing I will say is that I cannot believe how dumb this film is, I think all right minded Americans should be properly offended at not only having the original ending changed, but the new beginning and ending make even less sense. If the ending of this film tied up with how it started there would be no sequel!!!! (I say no more but can't wait to hear your guys views when you get to see it). If you use this post call me Saint Knibbo.

  • Nov. 30, 2009, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Sadly it made some money

    by orcus