The Descent Part 2 Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 4.5
Video 8.0
Audio 8.5
Special Features   0.0
Total 4.5

Distributor: Icon
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Reviewer: Simon Black
Classification
: MA15+

4.5


The Descent Part 2

British director Neil Marshall came out of nowhere with 2005s The Descent, a horror film concerning six women who become trapped in an unmarked cave system in the Eastern United States and are picked off one at a time by a band of carnivorous humanoid cave-dwellers.  The film received a strong positive reaction from fans and critics alike and grossed over $50 million off a $5 million budget. 

Sadly this success has not been entirely replicated with The Descent Part 2, which was released straight to DVD in 2009 and failed to garner anywhere near the same level of praise as its predecessor. 

Taking place two days after the events of the original, this replicant of a sequel finds Sarah, the sole survivor of the atrocities, leading local law enforcement back down into the caves in search of her friends.  Handily for the storyline Sarah is suffering from amnesia, because if she wasn’t the film would be over in about fifteen seconds: 

‘Don’t go down there.  Everyone’s dead and a band of vicious underground killers will eat you.’

‘Ok, we won’t.’ 

At any rate the plot of the original film is enacted almost scene by scene, with many of the same setups and scares, only less adroitly and with a ragtag cast of nobodies replacing what was a talented and unified ensemble.  The special effects are also unconvincing and the orc-like ‘crawlers’ look like cast-offs from a Lord of the Rings makeup test.   

The film does have a few genuine scares and Shauna McDonald is convincing as the jittery, flash-back prone survivor.  The work of composer David Julyan, whose Descent score purportedly utilised a 70-piece orchestra and a 16-piece female choir, is also put to good use here.  Ultimately however this is an implausible and unconvincing sequel that fails to live up to its forbear in almost every regard. 

The DVD release fares well in the audiovisual stakes.  Picture quality is unfailingly excellent throughout, with both the above-ground scenes and the dark underground shots boasting an impressive clarity.  The 5.1 surround soundtrack is also thoroughly immersive, and Julyan’s accomplished soundtrack is enjoyably atmospheric, swelling to a crescendo by the penultimate scene.  There aren’t any bonus features however, just a smattering of Icon trailers, which doesn’t exactly give much additional incentive to seek out an already lukewarm horror feature. 

The Descent Part 2 has its moments, but probably should never have seen the light of day.






 
 



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