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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Descent Part 2: Why?

When I finished watching The Descent a couple of years ago, I was not screaming for a sequel. Since producers listen more to box office receipts and DVD rentals and sales than fans' desires, The Descent: Part 2 was made. Director Neil Marshall was involved as an executive producer on the sequel, but then again, Bob Clark was a producer on the awful Black Christmas remake. (Alas, Danny Boyle was a producer on 28 Weeks Later and that miraculously worked incredibly well.)

If I hoped that Part 2 was going to be as great as 28 Weeks Later, that hope diminished quite quickly. If anything, Part 2 will be as well remembered as Silent Night, Deadly Night 2.

Why I chose to subject myself to this movie was for Richard's European horror movie book. Since I praised the hell out of the original Descent, I felt obligated to at least watch its sequel. I have no regrets in watching this movie, but I have a lot of reservations about ever watching it again. My love of the original has not been tainted. Rather, it gives all sorts of more reasons to love the original even more.

At its core, Part 2 is really a What If? movie. What if Sarah actually escaped and never came to terms with her daughter's death? What if you saw the original theatrical version and wanted to know what happened literally hours after the events in the original? Since I wasn't one of those people, this movie was not for me. Since I like some bit of logic to taking a woman who was just admitted to a hospital for cuts and amnesia out of the hospital to help find the other women, this movie was not for me.

At no point in watching this did I ever feel paranoid, trapped, or uncomfortable. The original does that incredibly well and my nerves are always rattled when the scares kick in. The sequel attempts to recreate those "gotcha!" beats but I rarely jumped. Not helping matters was that the characters were very thin character types just waiting to be slaughtered.

I know I can't expect all horror movie sequels to be on par with the original Dawn of the Dead, but sometimes, there are certain horror films that should not become franchises.

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