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Genre: Horror/Thriller
Starring: Shauna McDonald, Natalie Mendoza, Douglas Hodge, Krysten Cummings, Gavan O' Herlihy, Joshua Dallas, Anna Skellern
Director: Jon Harris
Rating: M18 (Edited Version - Gore & Violence)
Year Made: 2009






Languages: English
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 1 hr 29 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Origin Entertainment




Daze, bloodied and speechless with trauma, Sarah Carter emerges alone from the appalachian cave system where the events of the descent took place. Local sheriff Redmond Vaines forces her back underground to help the rescue team which is desperately searching for her five missing girlfriends. As the team move deeper into the caves, Sarah's flashes of fractured memory intensify and she begins to realise the full horror of the would-be rescue mission. Only Sarah knows the terror which lurks in the shadows of the caves. But they are about to encounter a new tribe of crawlers, inbred, deformed and even more viciously feral than those Sarah faced before.


Back in 2005, a low-budget thriller about five girls who encounter a strange breed of predators while on a caving expedition made waves amongst horror fans and critics alike. Writer-director Neil Marshall’s “The Descent” was lavished with praise for being intense and creepy and a class act in suspense. Marshall has since gone on to bigger-budget stuff- 2008’s “Doomsday” and the upcoming “Centurion”- though he remains credited as one of the executive producers of this sequel here.

Despite being at the reins of a new director, “The Descent: Part II” feels very much like its predecessor. Picking up right after the events of the first film, it wastes no time in thrusting the lone survivor Sarah (Shauna McDonald) back into the underground labyrinth once more, this time leading a group of rescuers and local policemen in search of her missing companions. Needless to say, Sarah and company will once again become prey for the “crawlers” and who emerges alive is again anyone’s guess.

Like Marshall’s original, first-time director Jon Harris effectively exploits the claustrophobic confines of which the characters are trapped in for maximum panic effect. Harris makes good use of the darkness of the cave setting, illuminated only barely by flashlights and headlights, to instil a foreboding sense of danger and fear throughout the movie. Though he does resort to jump-scares one too often, Harris makes up for it in several well-crafted moments of tension that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Harris also ups the gore factor from the previous movie, and squeamish audiences may want to take note that this is not a film for the faint-hearted (even though the version released on home video has been edited to an M18 rating). There is also considerably more action involving the ‘crawlers’ here, as Harris compensates vigorously for the novelty that the first film had going for it.

Besides lacking somewhat the freshness of the original, this sequel also suffers from poor characterisation. The script by three writers no less- J. Blakeson, James McCarthy and James Watkins- can’t measure up to the wit of Marshall’s original that pitted five female friends against each other in a battle for survival, and while this sequel flirts with the same themes, its characters just aren’t interesting enough for its audience to care as much about their eventual dilemmas.

It isn’t that “The Descent: Part II” is dreadful. On the contrary, it is a solid B-grade horror movie that boasts the same kind of suspense and shocks as its predecessor. But Marshall’s film had the benefit of novelty, an advantage that this sequel lacks, as well as better characterisation. Still, Harris’ film is a worthy follow-up to the original, and even if its offers more of the same, it is nonetheless riveting entertainment sure to set your pulse racing.




Audio is presented only in Dolby Digital 2.0, though a 5.1 soundtrack would have made the experience more terrifying. Visuals are clear and contrast is well-balanced during the dimly lit sequences- though it could do with some sharpening.



Review by Gabriel Chong

Posted on 12 December 2010


Other titles from Origin Entertainment:

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. The Back-Up Plan

. The Bounty Hunter

. The Book Of Eli [Blu-ray]

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. Daybreakers

. Extraordinary Measures

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. The Stepfather

. 2012 [Blu-Ray]

. Julie & Julia

. Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

. American Son

. Personal Effects

. The Ugly Truth

. Sex, Lies In Sin City

. Hardwired

. Terminator Salvation [Blu Ray]

. Obsessed

. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 [Blu Ray]

. Angels & Demons [Blu Ray]

. National Geographic: Sea Monsters [Blu Ray]

. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children [Blu Ray]

. Paul Blart Mall Cop

. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Blu Ray)

. Cadillac Records

. Underworld Rise of the Lycans

. Rachel Getting Married

. Not Easily Broken

. Anacondas Trail of Blood

. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

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. Seven Pounds

. Red Sands

. Fireproof

. Plasterhead

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. Quarantine

. Center Stage: Turn It Up

. Street Fighter

. The House Bunny

. The Cook

. Step Brothers

. Open Season 2

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. Hancock

. You Don't Mess With The Zohan

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This review is made possible with the kind support from Origin Entertainment


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