The Descent Part 2

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The Descent Part 2
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJon Harris
Produced byChristian Colson
Ivana MacKinnon
Screenplay byJames McCarthy
J Blakeson
James Watkins
StarringShauna Macdonald
Natalie Mendoza
Douglas Hodge
Krysten Cummings
Gavan O'Herlihy
Josh Dallas
Anna Skellern
Music byDavid Julyan
CinematographySam McCurdy
Edited byJon Harris
Distributed byWarner Bros. UK (Pathé)
Release date
  • 24 August 2009 (2009-08-24) (Fantasy Filmfest)
  • 2 December 2009 (2009-12-02) (United Kingdom)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget$6.2 million
Box office$6.7 million[1]

The Descent Part 2 is a 2009 British adventure horror film and sequel to the 2005 horror film The Descent. It was directed by Jon Harris from a screenplay by James McCarthy, J Blakeson, and James Watkins. The film was 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, it was released in cinemas in the UK on 2 December 2009 and on DVD on 27 April 2010 in the U.S.


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. She is taken to a hospital, where it is found that some of the blood on her is the same blood type as Juno Kaplan (Natalie Mendoza), one of the missing friends. 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. The team members are sent down via an old mine shaft operated by the old, mysterious Ed Oswald (Michael J. Reynolds).

The group discovers Rebecca's mutilated body, causing Sarah to have flashbacks of the crawlers and causing Vaines to believe Sarah may be responsible for the girls' disappearance. While crawling through a tunnel, she attacks Vaines and the others, causing the others to split up. Vaines runs to search for Sarah, and in the process is surprised by a crawler, and fires his gun in a panic, causing a minor collapse in the cavern which traps Cath, separating her from Rios, Dan, and Greg. The three decide to find an alternate way around in order to try to free Cath and arrive in a room full of bones, where they find Holly's video camera. They watch it and realize the women were attacked by the crawlers. The three are then themselves attacked by crawlers and separated.

Rios starts calling for help, alerting the crawlers to her location, but is rescued by Sarah. The two then watch as a crawler kills Dan and drags his body away, prompting Sarah to inform Rios that the crawlers are blind and hunt via sound. After escaping from and killing a crawler, Cath finds Greg before the two escape from another crawler and find Sam's body. They decide to try to use her to swing across a chasm, but are attacked again. Greg sacrifices himself to buy time for Cath, but she ultimately does not survive.

Rios reveals to Sarah that she has a daughter after Sarah tells her that she was washed out of the cave through a water system last time. Elsewhere, Vaines is attacked by a crawler but saved by Juno, who is alive and adept at hunting the crawlers. They reunite with Rios and Sarah, who is shocked to see Juno alive. Juno is furious that Sarah left her to die and almost kills her but calms down after Rios lies that Sarah brought them to find her voluntarily. 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. Vaines handcuffs Sarah to himself so that she will not abandon them like she did Juno. When he falls over a ledge, he almost drags Sarah with him. As crawlers approach them, Juno orders Rios to cut off Vaines' hand to save Sarah. Despite his protests, she does so, causing Vaines and the crawlers to fall to their death.

Sarah, Juno, and Rios reach the exit, but are blocked by a group of crawlers led by their large leader. They try to quietly sneak past the crawlers, but Greg, who is dying from his injuries, appears and grabs Juno's leg in a last effort to save himself. This causes her to scream in surprise and attract the attention of the crawlers. Greg dies and the women are left to fight them off. After all the crawlers are killed, Sarah tries to rescue Juno from the leader, but it slashes Juno's stomach, mortally wounding her. Sarah then kills it before Juno dies in her arms. More crawlers arrive, but Sarah draws their attention to herself, giving Rios a chance to escape.

As Sarah is presumably killed, Rios escapes from the cave. When she tries to call for help, she is attacked by Ed, who drags her back to the opening as food for the crawlers. As Rios regains consciousness, a blood-covered crawler pops out.



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 he 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 2019.

When The Descent was released in 2006 in the United States Lionsgate, the distributor, edited out the last minute 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.

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[3] and some scenes were filmed on location at the Bourne Woods near Farnham in southwest Surrey, England. Part 2 consisted of making 30 caves for the film while the first film only had 18 practical cave sets made.[4]

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


The film was originally set to be released by Pathé in May 2009, but was delayed. It was released in France on 14 October, Japan on 7 November and Argentina on 19 November.[8] It was released in UK cinemas on 4 December 2009.[9] The film did not reach its expectation in the UK debuting at No. 9[10] making the first week domestic gross £313,739.[11] Total gross in the UK stands at £674,550.[12] In France the film has proven successful reaching No. 5 and grossing $1,097,535[13] in its opening weekend. Total gross in France now stands at $2,438,834.[14] In total, the film earned roughly 25% that of The Descent's final gross.[15]

Despite disappointing box office figures, the film fared much better with DVD sales, making over $7 million in the US alone.[16] 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.[17] During its first week of release, it sold 46,000 units, with a gross of $982,000.[16][18]


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 One so thrilling."[19]

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."[20]

Based on 37 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, it received an approval rating of 57%, with an average score of 5.14/10. The website's critical consensus states, "The Descent 2 goes spelunking for its predecessors' unnerving power but never digs beyond surface chills, although this efficient splatterfest contains enough nasty set pieces to sate the gore-prone." [21]


  1. ^ "The Descent: Part 2 (2009)". Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Exclusive: Marshall on Zombie Sex, Descent 2 and More!!". Archived from the original on 15 January 2015.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 12 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Ready to Descend Again?".
  5. ^ "DRS Construction Set design and construction for film, television and still photography in the UK and mainland Europe". Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  6. ^ "enter the world of armordillo". Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Filmgate - Visual Effects - Grading - Conforming - Post Production - Digital Intermediate Consulting". Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  8. ^ "Release dates for The Descent: Part 2 (2009)". Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  9. ^ "Second Clip From 'The Descent: Part 2', New Stills". BloodyDisgusting.
  10. ^ "UK Box Office Chart - From". 13 November 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  11. ^ "UK Box Office: 4 - 6 December 2009". UK Film Council. Archived from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  12. ^ "UK Box Office: 8 - 10 January 2010". UK Film Council. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  13. ^ "France Box Office, October 14-18, 2009". Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  14. ^ "The Descent: Part 2 (2009)". Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  15. ^ "The Descent (2006)". Box Office Mojo. 12 October 2006. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  16. ^ a b "Movie The Descent: Part 2 - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  17. ^ "DVD Trailer for Lionsgate's 'The Descent: Part 2'". BloodyDisgusting.
  18. ^ "The Numbers News - DVD Sales: New Releases Fail to Overtake Avatar". 12 May 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  19. ^ Film Reviews. "The Descent 2, review". Telegraph. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  20. ^ Felperin, Leslie (16 May 2009). "The Descent: Part 2". Variety.
  21. ^ "The Descent 2 (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2 March 2020.

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