Saturday, October 22, 2011

30 Days of Fright - 21: The Descent Part 2

There are roughly three types of film that end up getting reviewed as part of this little series. There are those movies that are excellent, those that are woeful rubbish, and those in the middle. The good ones are easy to review becuae they're so good I just want to bang on about them in a gushing fanboy way. The bad films are also easy to write about as it's entertaining to tear a poor movie asunder. The hardest films to talk about are the ones in the middle, one's that are so dull there's just nothing much to say about them.

Continuing the events from the first film, TheDescent Part 2 shows Sarah emerging from the cave system and meeting a passingmotorist. At the same time as she’s being rescued, a team of people frommountain rescue are searching for her and the other missing girls who went intothe caves with her. However, Juno, the organiser of their trip, filed the wrong“flight plan” so the rescue team are looking in the wrong place.

When word gets out that Sarah has beenfound and taken to hospital, the local Sheriff goes to see her immediately, asit turns out that Juno is related to a Senator making the Sheriff highlymotivated to find her. Sarah is badly traumatised by the events in the cave andhas developed a form of short-term memory loss as a psychological protection.Unable to tell the Sheriff anything about the whereabouts of the others, heinsists that Sarah leads them into the caves to find the others.

Sarah is haunted by images of the creaturesthat she and the others encountered in the caves but she can’t remember enoughto be able to object and so she goes with the Sheriff, his deputy, and three ofthe mountain rescue team back into the caves. Once inside, Sarah is easilyspooked and her nervousness puts everyone on edge. This gets worse as theyprogress deeper into the cave system and finally discover the mutilated corpseof one of the missing girls. Suspicion quickly falls on Sarah, even though theextreme wounds on the body don’t look like something she’d be capable of.Moving on, Sarah begins to remember what happened and she attacks the Sheriffand the others in order to get away from them. Forced to split up, the group goafter Sarah and encounter all sorts of things they weren’t expecting to finddown in the caves...

Bloody woman, alway screaming all the time...

The original Descent was a bit of anunderground hit (if you’ll pardon the pun) due largely to some of theboundaries it was prepared to push relating to gore and girls, as well as thequite high production values present throughout. The second outing is reallyjust a cashing in exercise, making it a classic horror film sequel, and aboutas shite as that label indicates.

The big problem facing a follow-up to thefirst Descent movie would be how to escalate things above what happened in theoriginal. Rather than even trying to do this, the makers of the sequel insteadopted to try and convince the audience that the whole story was really splitinto two parts and that the second film is in fact just the second half of thesame tale. If that’s the case, then The Decent Saga is a woefully boringmisadventure with far too many coincidences and conveniences.

Once again, the film makers decided toallow fate to do their explaining for them, principally in giving the maincharacter Sarah a dose of amnesia in order to explain why the hell she’d goback into the caves. It’s this type of thing that puts the entire film on theback foot as the dependence on tricks to get characters into play makes youcall bullshit every time something happens. And the only reason some of the people even feature in the film is to bekilled off and while that’s true of loads of films it’s really apparent in TheDescent Part 2.

The production level is roughly the same as the first though for some reason some of the caves seem a little more fake than they did in the first movie. I don't think the fist set of caves were all that realistic, it's just that this time the film is so boring that you tend to pay closer attention to things like sets as there's fuck all else to do. All is not lost in Part 2, the outside cinematography is great and the soundtrack is excellent, with just the right sort of music kicking in at the right time. But music alone is not enough to save this wreck of a film, a film so dull it deserves this low score:

Two Thumbs Firmly Down for The Descent Part 2


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