The Descent: Part 2

Unnecessary sequels, what a wonderful concept. Theoretically there were no "unanswered questions" left at the end of Neil Marshalls 'Descent'. Chicks go down a hole, things attack them, most of them die, one escapes. No loose ends, no dangling participles if you will. But because 'The Descent' was all sorts of awesome, we get this film, yet another unnecessary sequel. Luckily for us, it's a pretty serviceable film in it's own right.

Sarah Carter (Shauna MacDonald) has just escaped the clutches of her subterranean assailants after leaving that lying, betraying bitch Juno for dead. She runs into an old guy driving a truck, who is nice enough to help her. Meanwhile, back at the mouth of the cave, there is an extensive search going on for the missing ladies. Upon hearing of Sarahs escape and seeing her covered in blood, Sheriff Dickhead is quick to surmise that Sarah must have bumped off all her friends. Sarah, thoroughly traumatized by the incident isn't much help either, giving everyone the silent treatment. The sheriff in his infinite wisdom decides that the most prudent form of action would be to haul Sarah out of the the hospital, strap her up and force her back underground in an effort to find the rest of the missing girls.

Finally underground, the film enters familiar territory. Here come the tight spaces, the random cave ins, Sheriff Dickhead acting, like, well a dick head. Then the creatures come. They look a bit different this time, bigger, more muscular, less Gollum, more Creature From the Black Lagoon. In a 180 from the first film the group takes the fight to the creatures rather than just try to survive. They stumble across each of the dead girls and even a video camera the women were using to document their spelunking in the first film. Then Juno shows up. Natalie Mendoza herself, in all her wonderful pan-Asian glory. Turns out Juno survived and she's not too happy to see Sarah (understandably). The ladies work out their differences, mostly through punching, before turning their attention back to the creatures.

'The Descent' : Part 2 is not a bad film, obviously unnecessary, but not bad. It does a lot right. After spending way too much time up on the surface, once the film heads underground, it's a pretty damn good horror film. There is copious amounts of gore, not as much or done quite as well as the original, but certainly better than 90% of the sequels out there. The performances are fine, no one is ridiculously bad. Hey, even Josh Dallas , 'Once Upon A Times' Prince Charming has a supporting role, so you can use that to get your lady friend to watch it! First (and only) time director Jon Harris, who edited the first film, acquits himself well in his debut. It's surprising he hasn't gotten any gigs since this.

Bottom Line: if you really loved the first one, like I did, then see this, it's pretty good. It certainly doesn't tarnish the original. There are some decent scares and good gore. There are worse ways to spent 90 minutes.

**1/2 stars out of *****

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