Friday, 30 December 2011

27/12/2011: The Descent Part 2 [2009]

As my review of The Descent showed, I though it to be one of the best horror films of the decade. It's sequel however fell victim to every problem a sequel does. The Descent was intended to be a stand alone movie, it didn't play up to the norms, instead being a dark and gritty tale of human survival, and that made it good.

The Descent Part 2 however confines to the standard norms, cutting down the brutality and rewriting the first ending to make things fit. (Uses the American ending w/ a slight variation)

First what did I like: As a standalone horror film, Part 2 fills out the standard formula perfectly, good setting, scary monsters, the right amount of people to be killed off in an obvious order. Also as a sequel it explained a little more about the original (although the ending just left more questions).

What was wrong: that they followed a formula! The first was brutal, giving us no hope. The second gave us the standard heroines, sacrificing and reconciling in order to ensure the groups survival. I preferred the original, where ones own survival was above all else, and a happy ending was not needed.

Also the first movie's scares came from the environment about as much as the creatures. In the second, the set is different (sure that's fine) but it is also lit up almost everywhere, you can always see the cavern or tunnel, well illuminated, eliminating that whole aspect of fear that made the first movie terrifying. I also felt like it was an entirely different cave because of this, and replacing the blood pit with the shit pit was disappointing.

Overall this movie is a mediocre horror flick, but as the sequel to one of the best of the decade, it is an utter disappointment. Throwing away everything that made the original unique.


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