Film: 'The Descent: Part 2'; Director: Jon Harris; Cast: Shauna Macdonald, Krysten Cummings, Douglas Hodge, Joshua Dallas, Anna Skellern, Michael J. Reynolds; Rating: **1/2
Horror films are not just about deadly monsters that spring up in the dark and serve you a good chill. It's about being helpless in a situation that you find yourself in and struggle hard to survive. And it is this helplessness that makes the genre of horror so popular.
'The Descent' in 2005 added something more -- the helplessness of the fairer sex as an all girls team gets stranded amidst a bunch of monsters.
The sequel, tries to do that, but ends up being a poor remake of a decent first film.
'The Descent: Part 2' picks up from where the first left. Sarah has survived, but without any memory of what happened to her in the past two days. Meanwhile, a team is searching for them at the place where they had disappeared.
When they learn about Sarah's survival, the rescue team head down to an old mine from where she had managed to escape.
Sarah, the sheriff, a lady cop and three rescuers go down the mine looking for her other friends. As they pass through, Sarah's memory comes back in flashes. Scared, she escapes injuring two of the rescue workers. Things go horribly wrong as the creatures that reside in the deep, hunt them one by one.
The original descent had something great going its way. The feeling of claustrophobia was accentuated by an interesting plot - all the characters are women, while all the monsters that hunt them look like males. It was thus an indirect analogy on the situation of women in this world. This part, though managing to get the claustrophobia right, fails in making any other connection or statement.
The story also moves in a linear fashion with hardly any unexpected twists and turns. Also the film takes too long, almost half the film, to bring in the horror and even when the monsters attack; it is only their numbers that have increased from the first part, and not the fear factor.
Perhaps director Neil Marshall of the first part should not have passed on the director's chair to Jon Harris, the editor of the first film, and also interestingly the man who re-edited the Indian film 'Being Cyrus'.
Just like the last time, there is no reference made to where the monsters of the dark came into being. However, a last ditch twist at the very end leaves it open for interpretation for another sequel.
Hope it will be a better one than this.