The Descent: Part 2 (2009)
The Descent Part 2 is the direct to DVD sequel of The Descent, one of my favorite horror films of all time. Going direct to DVD usually means I have to be nothing but worried but in fact, much like Cabin Fever 2, ended up being fun. It is the directorial debut of Jon Harris (who was involved in editing the original The Descent) with the screen play written by not 1, not 2, but 3 authors - J Blakeson, James McCarthy, and James Watkins. While all three of these writers don't have an overly extensive history what they were able to put together here should change that in the near future.
The sequel begins exactly how a sequel should - directly after the first film ended. I was rather worried how casting would be (I had done 0 research ahead of time) and we are treated to having the return of Shauna Macdonald as Sarah, the woman brutally traumatized in the first film. She has no memory of what happened to her or her friends but with the media having a field day trying to find them the local sheriff has decided that she is the only hope on finding them so brings her out with him when he attempts to explore a cave that they believe may lead them to the other women. He also is suspect of her as she was covered in blood that was not her own. While I was a bit annoyed with the temporary amnesia she experiences at the beginning of the film it both doesn’t last long and was realistically the only way they could explain away how she is willing to go back in to look for her friends.
When her memory does come back she has no motivation aside from escaping the mines but at this moment we are conveniently the Sheriff (who we are clearly setup to hate from the offset) accidentally cause a cave in trapping them all below. While their safe way out has been removed they can only move in further to hopefully leave from another exit and are quick to stumble across the mutants from the first film that are more vicious than they were previously. (If you were on a rescue team wouldn’t you have other people know exactly where you were?) As we know what they are now to an extent there is less of a reason to build up suspense and just push the violence, which is one of my few complaints in the film as the suspense is what kept the first one running strong. While I do complain about the amount of suspense there is still plenty to go around with some amazing returns to scenes from the original film as well as surprises that you really won't see coming.
As a sequel to a horror film that is top notch this one is able to give you part of the feeling of the original in an enjoyable way. We are given surprises, some suspense, and an amazing ending. Without giving you spoilers there is a twist at the end that would allow for another entry into the franchise that would not only give us a return to the caves but another aspect as well that could prove interesting. I salute Harris for giving us a great sequel to an amazing movie and will easily suggest this to anyone who enjoyed the first The Decent.