The Descent Part 2

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This article is about the film. For the unrelated video game, see Descent II. For the two-part Star Trek episode, see Descent (Star Trek: The Next Generation).
The Descent Part 2
Theatrical poster
Directed by Jon Harris
Produced by Christian Colson
Ivana MacKinnon
Written by James McCarthy
J Blakeson
James Watkins
Starring Shauna Macdonald
Natalie Mendoza
Douglas Hodge
Krysten Cummings
Gavan O'Herlihy
Josh Dallas
Anna Skellern
Music by David Julyan
Cinematography Sam McCurdy
Edited by Jon Harris
Distributed by Pathé
Release dates
  • 24 August 2009 (2009-08-24) (Fantasy Filmfest)
  • 2 December 2009 (2009-12-02) (United Kingdom)
Running time
94 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $6.2 million
Box office $13.8 million[1]

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 revealed some of the blood on her is the same type as Juno Kaplan (Natalie Mendoza). Sheriff Vaines (Gavan O'Herlihy) demands that along with his deputy Elen Rios (Krysten Cummings), Sarah and three spelunking specialists – Dan (Douglas Hodge), Greg (Josh Dallas) and Cath (Anna Skellern) – must go back into the cave to find the missing women. A new entrance is found with the help of a sniffer dog, 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 the mutilated body of Rebecca, causing Sarah to have short flashbacks of the crawlers. Further on, whilst crawling through a narrow tunnel in the caves, Sarah has a longer flashback of the previous events, and in a nervous panic, attacks Vaines, Greg and Elen and runs off deeper into the caves. Vaines pursues Sarah but eventually runs into a crawler and fires a shot that causes part of the cave to collapse, separating Cath from the rest of the group and trapping her within a rock choke. Elen, Dan and Greg arrive in a room full of bones where they find the video camera used by Holly in the first film. They watch the playback, which reveals the women were attacked by the cave dwelling 'crawlers'. The three are then attacked by a group of crawlers and separated.

The trio split, and Elen starts calling for help, alerting the crawlers to her location, but is stopped by Sarah, who warns Elen that the crawlers are blind and hunt via sound. The two then watch as a crawler attacks and kills Dan, ripping his throat open and dragging him away. Later, Cath draws the attention of a crawler and is forced to escape from the rock choke, killing the crawler in the process. She immediately runs into a frightened Greg, and the two work together to climb away from a crawler and use their radio to divert the pursuing crawler away from them. They travel deeper into the cave and find Sam hanging lifelessly above the chasm where she was killed in the first film. They decide to try to use her to swing across the chasm, but are both attacked by crawlers. Greg falls into the chasm, whilst tackling the crawler on Cath, and although Cath makes it to the other side, she is attacked and killed once she gets there.

Elen and Sarah wander deeper into the cave, and kill another crawler. Elen reveals she has a daughter by recording a video message on her mobile phone in case she dies. Elen's message makes Sarah, thinking of her own daughter, even more determined to escape. Vaines is wandering around the cave and is about to be killed by a crawler before he is saved by Juno, who is revealed to be alive, though somewhat disturbed, and adept at hunting the crawlers. Elen and Sarah crawl through a tunnel and, escaping a crawler, fall into a communal defecation grounds pool. A fight ensues between Elen, Sarah, and the crawler with the two teaming up in order to kill it. Later, all four meet up again. Juno, furious that Sarah attacked her and left her behind, immediately initiates a fight. After the short scrap, they all decide it is best they work together to survive. Juno leads them off into the 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 cannot leave them to die like she did to Juno. As they progress, Vaines falls over a ledge, almost taking Sarah with him, however she begs Juno to help her; Juno reluctantly tries to help before, in desperation, ordering Elen to cut off Vaines' hand with a pickaxe to save Sarah from falling with him.

At the film's climax, Elen, Sarah and Juno reach the exit, but are blocked by a small group of crawlers. As they try to tip-toe around the crawlers, Juno is grabbed by a dying Greg, causing her to scream in surprise, gaining the attention of four crawlers, including a particularly large one. Greg promptly dies and the women are left to fight off the crawlers. The battle is tough, but Elen, Sarah and Juno kill a crawler each. Sarah sees that Juno is losing the battle to the crawler much larger than the others so attempts to strangle it from behind. Tensing up, the crawler rips into Juno's stomach, mortally wounding her. She and Sarah finish it off before Juno dies in Sarah's arms. Full of guilt and despair, Sarah tearfully closes Juno's eyes and places her necklace in her hand with the words "Love Each Day" engraved on the metal. Ignoring Elen's pleas to leave, Sarah continues to mourn for Juno's loss. Elen turns around to leave, but finds them surrounded by a large group of crawlers. With nothing left to lose, Sarah, in an act of self-sacrifice, screams, drawing the attention of every crawler, allowing Elen a chance to escape.

Elen bursts through the exit of the cave, exactly how Sarah did when she originally escaped in the first film, and is about to call for help using her cell phone, before she is attacked by Ed, the mine shaft operator, 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 bloodied crawler jumps out of the entrance as the film ends and presumably takes her back into the cave.



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.[2]

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 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."[2] 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.[3]

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 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.[4]

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[5] 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[6] and Armordillo.[7] 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.[8]


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.[9] It was released in UK cinemas on 4 December 2009.[10] The film did not reach its expectation in the UK debuting at No. 9[11] making the first week domestic gross £313,739.[12] Total gross in the UK stands at £674,550.[13] In France the film has proven successful reaching No. 5 and grossing $1,097,535[14] in its opening weekend. Total gross in France now stands at $2,438,834.[15] In total, the film earned roughly 25% that of The Descent's final gross.[16]

Despite disappointing box office figures, the film fared much better with DVD sales, making over $7 million in the US alone.[17] 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.[18] During its first week of release, it sold 46,000 units, with a gross of $982,000.[19][17]


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."[20] 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."[21]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 'rotten' rating of 55% based on 31 reviews.[22]


  1. ^ "The Descent: Part 2 (2009)". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  2. ^ a b "Exclusive: Marshall on Zombie Sex, Descent 2 and More!!". 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Ready to Descend Again?". 
  5. ^ [1] Archived 12 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "DRS Construction Set design and construction for film, television and still photography in the UK and mainland Europe". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  7. ^ "enter the world of armordillo". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  8. ^ "Filmgate - Visual Effects - Grading - Conforming - Post Production - Digital Intermediate Consulting". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  9. ^ "Release dates for The Descent: Part 2 (2009)". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  10. ^ "Second Clip From 'The Descent: Part 2', New Stills". BloodyDisgusting. 
  11. ^ "UK Box Office Chart - From". 2012-11-13. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  12. ^ "UK Box Office: 4 - 6 December 2009". UK Film Council. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  13. ^ "UK Box Office: 8 - 10 January 2010". UK Film Council. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  14. ^ "France Box Office, October 14–18, 2009". Retrieved 2012-11-18.  C1 control character in |title= at position 30 (help)
  15. ^ "The Descent: Part 2 (2009)". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  16. ^ "The Descent (2006)". Box Office Mojo. 2006-10-12. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  17. ^ a b "Movie The Descent: Part 2 - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  18. ^ "DVD Trailer for Lionsgate's 'The Descent: Part 2'". BloodyDisgusting. 
  19. ^ "The Numbers News - DVD Sales: New Releases Fail to Overtake Avatar". 2010-05-12. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  20. ^ Film Reviews. "The Descent 2, review". Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  21. ^ Felperin, Leslie (16 May 2009). "The Descent: Part 2". Variety. 
  22. ^ "The Descent 2 - Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 2012-11-18. 

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