Today we have the first bunch of images to be released for the sequel to Neil Marshall's modern horror masterpiece The Descent, simply subtitled Part 2 (although word is that in the UK it will be called The De2cent). Before I express my rather strong opinion about this, check out the images below:
Now I'd just like to warn you that the following may very well be spoilerific of the first film The Descent - so if you haven't seen it I recommend you skip the rest of the post (although I assume most of you will have seen it, or else why would you be interested in sequel news in the first place?).
First off I must express my love for the first film - I had all but lost faith in modern horror films when it was released, and it hit me like a bolt of lightning. It was one of the best horror films I'd seen in years and instantly became one of my all-time favorite flicks of the genre. It just truly terrified me, probably in a personal way that perhaps others might not find quite so scary.
And what made it scary wasn't necessarily the monsters that eventually appear (out of nowhere I might add, giving one of the best jump scares ever conceived) but the sense of atmosphere and claustrophobia for the first half of the film. If you had no idea you were going in to see what would eventually become a monster based horror film you would think for a good 50 minutes that you'd walked into the wrong screening. But it also had other elements that made it more than "just another horror film:" it had an all-female cast for one and an interesting, humanistic story relating the main characters to each other. For me it's just about the best horror film since Stanley Kubrick's The Shining... and that's saying something.
Okay enough of my praise gushing, onto the sequel in question...
Right from the very mention of a sequel I was irritated. Especially since they decided to make it about the same leading character as was in the previous film. If you saw the UK version (or the U.S. uncut version) you'll know that there was a scene imagined by the lead and only surviving character where she miraculously escapes, but it then cuts back to reality where she's still back in the very center of the indiscernable caves, being surrounded by the creepy Crawlers.
But in spite of this they've decided to go ahead with a sequel (as they tend to do when the original does better than expected, as The Descent indeed did), continuing on the story of the lead character Sarah, presumably if she'd escaped (which in the U.S. theatrically released version - she does). The story being something along the lines of the character heading back down to the dreaded caves which trapped her and her friends in the first film to look for survivors.
But this again rings alarm bells - there were no bloody survivors, they all died! We saw it with our own eyes! With perhaps the exception of the woman who Sarah stabbed in the foot and left at the mercy of the Crawlers, but she was clearly dead meat anyway. And I'm sorry but if anybody had been through what she did they would want to get as far away from those caves as humanly possible, potential surviving friends or no bloody potential surviving friends.
I'm sure it's entirely obvious I'm really upset about them even making a sequel, never mind the direction they seem to be going with it. From the look of the images they've also decided to make the Crawlers more visible, getting rid of the "monsters in the shadows" aspect that was one of the key points that made the first so damn scary. And they've added a few guys to the cast, taking away the original element that the first one had of an all female cast.
Oh yeah and the mind of Neil Marshall isn't even behind this one, he's just an executive producer (which we all know is just so the name can be slapped on the posters and trailers to attract more moviegoers), but instead director Jon Harris (who was the editor on the first film, making his directorial debut with this one) and writer James Watkins (Eden Lake, My Little Eye). What a fantastic idea - take away the guy who with genius conjured the first one and replace him with an inexperienced director and writer.
To me it seems they've just made a sequel for the sake of it, simply because they figure they can cash in on the good name of the first film. And as a huge fan (can you tell?) of the first one I am just so annoyed they've decided to go ahead with it.
What about you? Are you as mad as I am that they're making another one?
The Descent: Part 2 is set to open in the UK May 15th this year (no word on a US release date yet).