The Descent: Part 2 – UK, 2009

‘Fear runs deep’

The Descent: Part 2 is a 2009 British horror feature film directed by Jon Harris (editor on Darkness Visible; The Woman in Black; Eden Lake; The Descent) from a screenplay by James McCarthy, J. Blakeson (The 5th Wave) and James Watkins. The movie stars Michael J. Reynolds, Shauna Macdonald, Jessika Williams and Douglas Hodge.

Plot:

Two days after the events of the first film, a traumatised and blood-covered Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) escapes the cave with no memory of the events.

She is taken to a hospital, where it is found that some of the blood on her belongs to Juno Kaplan (Natalie Mendoza).

Sheriff Vaines (Gavan O’Herlihy) takes his deputy Elen Rios (Krysten Cummings), Sarah, and three spelunking specialists – Dan (Douglas Hodge), Greg (Josh Dallas), and Cath (Anna Skellern) – to the cave to find the missing women. The team members are sent down via an old mine shaft operated by mysterious Ed Oswald (Michael J. Reynolds).

The group discovers Rebecca’s mutilated body, causing Sarah to have flashbacks of the crawlers and causing Vaines to believe Sarah may be responsible for the girls’ disappearance…

Reviews:

“The creatures still are neat, but that can’t pull The Descent:  Part 2 out of the dive bomb that the story sent it into. The characters aren’t interesting, the sets are relatively uninteresting, and the visuals are more of the same.” JP Roscoe, Basement Rejects

“Harris is a master of the unexpected jump scare, and utilizes this gimmick with shocking precision. He also smartly keeps the pacing fast furious, stopping only briefly to allow his characters to catch their breath before violently shoving them into the next gore-encrusted set piece.” Bloody Good Horror

“There are some fantastic sequences with just as much tension as you’ll find in the first, and director Jon Harris, who edited The Descent, induces feelings of claustrophobia quite well. Though Neil Marshall’s effort certainly didn’t lack for gore at all, the sequel is much, much bloodier.” Stacie Ponder, Final Girl

“It’s not horribly bad and it’s not awesomely good. It’s the same ole crawler poop mixed in with awesome kills, nothing more and nothing less. I loved seeing my girl Juno again but this was a pseudo remake if there ever was one.” Jeff Atencio, The Jaded Viewer

“Jon Harris delivers everything with a competent hand – it is just that all of the material is exceedingly familiar, while the sequel lacks the surprise element about what is lurking in the dark.” Richard Scheib, Moria

“There are some particularly nice editing flourishes that manage to return us to the original film, and there are some otherwise striking visuals of the crawlers themselves. Viewers will also be treated to a number of nice, harrowing sequences that really ramp up the claustrophobia the first film introduced.” Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror! 

“One of the great horror sequels, I had a good time from opening frame to final frame. Director Harris knows his horror and delivers a stand out example of what can be done in the dark genre. You have to love a movie where characters are getting covered in various body fluids, from both ends!” Jeff Ritchie, Scary Minds

The Descent: Part 2 is recommended for two parties: those curious folk who like to split a six-pack and chuckle at bad movies, and those who left the first picture clamoring to know more about the creatures’ defecation habits. Others will find the picture a little sad.” Chuck Bowen, Slant magazine

” …though it stretches credulity… The last half-hour is a tense team scramble to get out, and stay out, but the best move in this above-par shocker is digging right back into the claustrophobic emotional traumas which made Part One so thrilling.” Tim Robey, The Telegraph

“When the terrible, gruesome things eventually happen, you always find yourself alert and transfixed but never distraught and afraid of the person behind sitting you. The Descent: Part 2 is an enjoyable frightfest that delivers a decent scare quota…” Zap! Bang!

Cast and characters:

  • Michael J. Reynolds … Ed Oswald
  • Shauna Macdonald … Sarah Carter
  • Jessika Williams … Susanne Small
  • Douglas Hodge … Dan
  • Josh Dallas … Greg (as Joshua Dallas)
  • Anna Skellern … Cath
  • Gavan O’Herlihy … Vaines
  • Krysten Cummings … Ellen Rios
  • Doug Ballard … Doctor Roger Payne
  • Josh Cole … Lynch
  • Saskia Mulder … Rebecca
  • Natalie Mendoza … Juno Kaplan
  • Alex Reid … Beth
  • Nora-Jane Noone … Holly
  • MyAnna Buring … Sam

Filming locations:

  • Ashridge Park, Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire, England
  • Bourne Woods, Farnham, Surrey, England
  • Ealing Studios, Ealing, London, England
  • Longcross Studios, Chobham Lane, Longcross, Surrey, England
  • Perth and Kinross, Scotland

Technical credits:

94 minutes | 2.35: 1 | Dolby Digital | DTS

Release:

The film was released in cinemas in the U.K. on 2 December 2009 and on DVD on 27 April 2010 in the U.S. At the time of writing, it is available to stream on Netflix UK

Related:

The Descent – UK, 2005

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