The Descent Part 2
|The Descent Part 2|
|Directed by||Jon Harris|
|Produced by||Christian Colson
|Written by||James McCarthy
|Music by||David Julyan|
|Edited by||Jon Harris|
|Box office||$6.7 million|
The Descent Part 2 is a 2009 British adventure horror film and a sequel to the 2005 horror film The Descent. It was directed by Jon Harris, written by James McCarthy, J Blakeson and James Watkins, and produced by Christian Colson and Ivana MacKinnon; Neil Marshall, the writer and director of the original, was an executive producer. Shot in London and Surrey, the film was released in cinemas in the UK on 2 December 2009 and on DVD on 27 April 2010 in the US.
Two days after the events of the first film, a traumatized and blood-covered Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) escapes the cave with no memory of the events that occurred within it. 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 (as Juno is related to a U.S. senator). After a new entrance is found, and the team members are sent down via an old mine shaft operated by the old, mysterious Ed Oswald (Michael J. Reynolds).
Upon passing through the abandoned mine and into the caves, the group discovers Rebecca's mutilated body, causing Sarah to have short flashbacks of the crawlers. Further on, whilst crawling through a narrow tunnel in the caves, Sarah has a flashback to the previous events. In a nervous panic, she attacks Vaines, causing the others to split up in the caverns in fear. After fighting her off, Vaines pursues Sarah but runs into a crawler. He fires a shot at the crawler but misses and causes part of the cave to collapse, separating Cath from the rest of the group and trapping her between rocks. Elen, Dan, and Greg arrive in a room full of bones, and find a video camera used by Holly. They watch it and realize the women were attacked by the crawlers. The three are then attacked by a group of crawlers and separated.
Elen starts calling for help, alerting the crawlers to her location, but she is rescued by Sarah, who warns Elen that the crawlers are blind and hunt via sound. The two then watch as a crawler attacks Dan, kills him, and drags his body away. Later, Cath is attacked by another crawler but escapes. She runs into Greg, and the two work together to escape from a crawler. They travel deeper into the cave and find Sam's body. They decide to try to use her to swing across a chasm, but both are attacked by crawlers. Greg falls down the chasm to his apparent death, while Cath is killed even after making it to the other side of the chasm.
As Elen and Sarah wander deeper into the cave, Elen reveals she has a daughter. Elsewhere, Vaines is attacked by a crawler but saved by Juno, who is revealed to be alive and adept at hunting the crawlers. When Vanies asks what the Crawlers are she replies "death". They then reunite with Elen and Sarah, who is shocked to see Juno is still alive. However, Juno is furious that Sarah attacked her and left her to die and quickly initiates a fight. After Vaines and Elen break it up, the four decide to work together to survive. Juno leads them to a feeding pit, which she claims has a passage to the surface that the crawlers use to gather food from above the ground, and explains she didn't leave earlier because she had no light. Vaines handcuffs Sarah to him so she will not abandon them like she did to Juno. As they progress, Vaines falls over a ledge, almost taking Sarah with him. Juno decides to help Elen, ordering her to cut off Vaines' hand with a pickaxe to save Sarah from falling with him. Despite Vaines's protests, she does so, causing Vaines to fall to his death.
Sarah, Juno, and Elen reach the exit, but are blocked by a group of crawlers lead by a particular large one (presumably their leader). Though they try to sneak past them, Greg, who managed to get out of the chasm and is dying from his injuries, appears and grabs Juno's leg as a last effort to save himself. This causes her to scream in surprise and gain the attention of the crawlers. Greg promptly dies and the women are left to fight off the crawlers. After all the lesser crawlers are killed, Sarah tries to rescue Juno from the particularly large crawler, but it deeply slashes Juno's stomach, mortally wounding her. She and Elen finish it off before Juno dies in Sarah's arms, much to her distress. More crawlers arrive, but Sarah draws their attention to her, giving Elen a chance to escape.
As Sarah is killed, Elen escapes the cave. When she tries to call for help, she is suddenly attacked by Ed, who hits her in the face with a shovel and drags her back to the entrance as food for the crawlers. As Elen regains consciousness from the hit, a crawler jumps out of the entrance and presumably takes her back into the cave.
- Shauna Macdonald as Sarah Carter
- Natalie Mendoza as Juno Kaplan
- Krysten Cummings as Elen Rios
- Gavan O'Herlihy as Sheriff Vaines
- Anna Skellern as Cath
- Josh Dallas as Greg
- Douglas Hodge as Dan
- Michael J. Reynolds as Ed Oswald
- Doug Ballard as Doctor Roger Payne
- Saskia Mulder as Rebecca (corpse)
- MyAnna Buring as Sam (corpse)
Due to the first film being a commercial and critical success, it was decided that a sequel would be produced. While Neil Marshall would not direct the film, he was assigned to oversee its production as an executive producer.
Marshall received the first draft of the film in late July 2006, with no directors or cast in mind. He made it clear that intended to incorporate more of the feeling of claustrophobia like that of a particular scene in the previous film. Marshall tells Bloody-Disgusting.com about new ideas for the film, "The monsters they can deal with, and a bit of the claustrophobia, they can deal with, but the combination is definitely something we want to incorporate that into the sequel, by putting the monster and the girls in a really tight spot." Jon Harris, the editor of the first film, was brought on to direct and edit the sequel. It is his only directing credit as of 2016.
When The Descent was released in 2006 in the United States, Lionsgate picked up the film as distributor and edited the last few minutes of the film, changing the ending. When Dreadcentral.com asked Marshall which of the film's two endings the sequel would be picking up after, he said that it would not be known until he approved a script.
Filming began in May 2008 at Ealing Studios in London. Ealing Studios was featured on BBC London in June 2008 going behind the scenes of the filming of 'Part 2'. In that broadcast it was confirmed that Shauna MacDonald would be returning to play her character Sarah and that most of the other original cast members would return, some in flashbacks and possible hallucinations. The film was shot on all three of the main stages at Ealing Studios and some scenes were filmed on location at the Bourne Woods near Farnham in southwest Surrey, England.
The production designer was Simon Bowles, who designed the original film, with Mark Scruton as supervising art director. The sets were built by DRS Construction and Armordillo. The film used elaborate sets, miniatures, and blue screen digital images. This was revealed on BBC London's behind the scenes look. The VFX and digital set extensions were created by Swedish VFX company Filmgate.
The film was originally set to be released in May 2009, but was delayed. It was released in France on 14 October, Japan on 7 November and Argentina on 19 November. It was released in UK cinemas on 4 December 2009. The film did not reach its expectation in the UK debuting at No. 9 making the first week domestic gross £313,739. Total gross in the UK stands at £674,550. In France the film has proven successful reaching No. 5 and grossing $1,097,535 in its opening weekend. Total gross in France now stands at $2,438,834. In total, the film earned roughly 25% that of The Descent's final gross.
Despite disappointing box office figures, the film fared much better with DVD sales, making over $7 million in the US alone. The US release date for The Descent: Part 2 was announced by the Weinstein Company on 12 February 2010 and was set for 27 April 2010, as a straight to DVD release through Lionsgate Home Entertainment. During its first week of release, it sold 46,000 units, with a gross of $982,000.
The Descent Part 2 garnered mixed reviews. Tim Robey of The Telegraph gave the film three stars out of five stating, "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 1 so thrilling." Variety gave the film a mixed review stating "Treading closely in the steps of its predecessor in every sense, the sequel has less emotional nuance, shows more of the monsters and opts this time for a less interesting coed cast instead of the all-femme crew used so effectively in the original. Nevertheless, as popcorn entertainment, it delivers, and should satisfy fans on all platforms."
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