The sequel to one of the best horror films of the last twenty years starts off with faulty logic and descends (get it?) sharply from there.
I actually waited a few days to write this review, and this is mainly due to the fact that The Descent 2 is the cinematic equivalent to a puke burp. I loved the first film, and I am aware that there are two different endings. The better ending does not allow for a sequel to exist, but of course they opted for more money.
There is a cynicism in this film that is hard to stomach. It is so obviously trying to ride the uniqueness of the first film for a quick cash gain. Yet, the people behind this one seemed to not know what made the first one so special.
In the first film, we have an absolute flip of the normal horror movie script. We have several smart and strong young women who struggle to survive against brutal odds. Aside from being lost in an uncharted cave system, they have to deal with evolved human-monsters who hunt them. What made the first one so great is that we truly know the characters before the scares begin. Each person had a developed personality, and this is something borderline unheard of in horror.
In the second one, we follow Sarah (Sarah Macdonald) after she escapes. A rescue mission is underway, and once she is discovered, idiot sheriff Vaines (Gavan O’Herlihy) decides that she should come along for the rescue mission. A traumatized and injured person is brought along. Let that one sink in. before the film even gets going the realism is absolutely shattered. Vaines is potentially the worst written cop I have ever seen. Aside from his sheer stupidity, he seems to take pleasure in Sarah’s fear and trauma. What the fuck were they thinking here?
The film wastes no time with things like exposition and character development, instead we jump right into the scares. I can put up with some pretty crappy special effects, but here they were high school play level bad. The creatures went from interesting and scary to laughable Gollum-esque elves. We spend time making sure to get a shot of one of the creatures taking a shit for a cheap laugh—not kidding! What happened here?
Aside from Sarah and Officer Mcdipstick we have a few other folks. Two bros, who I could not tell apart while watching the film and don’t care to research who they were. In short, they are cannon fodder to allow us to have some gory scenes without killing the more important characters.
The sets, acting, dialogue, effects, sound, and just about everything have taken several steps back. Further, the film actually undermines one of the more emotional moments in the first film with an absolutely cringe-worthy revelation. I hated this movie, and I hate it more than most because it actively works to diminish the first part. I came into this review revved up and ready to talk major shit on this absolute train wreck, but it is more saddening than anything else. The film is an immense waste that is not worth anyone’s time. 0/10