Archive for Shauna Macdonald

The Descent 2 (2009)

Posted in Horror Review, Seq Week with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2010 by Pass the Popcorn!

Director: Jon Harris

Writers: J Blakeson

James McCarthy

James Watkins

Tagline: Fear runs deeper

Plot: Distraught, confused, and half-wild with fear, Sarah Carter emerges alone from the Appalachian cave system where she encountered unspeakable terrors…

Cast: Shauna Macdonald – Sarah

Natalie Jackson Mendoza – Juno

Krysten Cummings – Rios

Gavan O’Herlihy    – Vaines

Joshua Dallas – Greg

Review (spoilers):

After a huge success with the first Descent, it was pretty obvious that the sequel will come out sooner or later. And here it is. The Descent 2 picks up where the first one end. Sarah finally managed to somehow exit those caves (it was never said how) only to return once more in them accompanied with a rescue party. Just like many sequels, The Descent 2’s quality is not nearly as good as it’s precursor’s. Watching this felt like a cold shower, I expected some good scares and a frightening atmosphere (just like in the first Descent). What I got was an average and more action driven horror sequel with cheap scares. Those action scenes were average from time to time too. All in all, it really isn’t bad but it lacks some/any good details which deserve to be specially mentioned.

The script has some really random parts in it which still aren’t completely clear to me (including the last few scenes). Of course, there wasn’t much room for character development in it so some characters are cheap cannon fodder. Some of them die very quick and in short meantime periods.  Because all of those action scenes The Descent 2 isn’t a boring a movie (far from that) but it still could use a lot of improvement (like some explanations in the plot). The best thing in the whole movie is surely Juno’s return but her strange and unexpected (and I’d dare to say even unimportant) come back wasn’t explained at all. I wanted to know how she managed to kill those crawlers from the first movie with a leg that is hurt. And of course how did she manage to stay alive in the caves. Questions like this are never answered and I think it would have been awesome if we could have seen some of Juno’s flashbacks over the past few days (like it was made with Sarah). That would have took the movie to a whole new level.

Unfortunately, this aren’t the only things that were bad in The Descent 2. The worst thing in it are surely the looks of the crawlers, those creatures who dwell in the caves. Comparing them to the first movie they look awful. Their faces are now somewhat deformed (in a possible attempt to make them look scarier) which makes them look silly. I just have to comment one scene where we even have a female crawler. I must admit I always assumed that crawlers were some asexual creatures (Tbh: I’m not really interested in their mating habits) because we couldn’t see a single female one in the first Descent. In The Descent 2 you see a female crawler in only one scene and her total cameo was like 10 seconds or less? Why did they put her in? I can’t find an obvious reason to that. My only guess is that they wanted the crawlers to look more disturbing (or change the audience’s thoughts about them) so putting a female crawler was a desperate movie for doing so. There is one more thing that wants to change your opinion about crawlers: An alpha male one. Yeap, we are being introduced to the ultimate 6 feet tall boss crawler. Yawn.

The Descent 2 makes up for everything with all those bloody and gory fights. There were some ok kills which don’t go much above average. If you started watching the movie expecting (and wanting) it be more action driven, you’ll possibly find it to be more enjoying than I did.

My Rating: 5/10 … An ok movie, really nothing special. The best thing about it are it’s average fight scenes.

Btw, with this review we oficially end the first Seq Week here at Drugsbunny’s Horror Reviews!  (I know that the Seq Week lasted about 10 days, but no matter, there are 7 reviews about  movie sequels). Thank you all for reading my blog ; ).

The Descent (2005)

Posted in Horror Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2009 by Pass the Popcorn!

the-descentDirector: Neil Marshall

Writer: Neil Marshall

Tagline: Scream your last breath.

Plot: A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.

Cast: Shauna MacDonald – Sarah

Natalie Mendoza – Juno

Alex Reid – Beth

Saskia Mulder – Rebecca

MyAnna Buring – Sam

Review (spoilers):

The movie starts off with a car crash where the main character Sarah loses her husband and daughter. Early through the movie we see that it will be  gory. The car crash scene is followed by a freaky and strange hospital scene, beats me if I know what happened to those lights there and why they were suddenly turning off, was that some kind of dream/illusion or whatever? No matter, it didn’t kill the mood that was slowly building. A year after the tragic Sarah. accompanied by her 5 friends. goes to an expedition where they go caving. In those caves they got lost and some bat people of some sort(or should we call them batmans?) attack them. They all die in the end except Sarah and that sums the whole plot I’d say.

The background story for watching this movie starts like this: I wanted a good movie to watch with my girlfriend on Halloween (btw this review is dedicated to her – I love you very much : )  ) and I asked on one forum for some  recommendations.  One random guy said to me that The Descent was the best choice and he was right! Through all the movie my girlfriend and I were scared as shit, we were shivering all the time and paniced.

There is just something naturally scary about claustrophobic, dark places and when they are filled with strange creatures it gets even more horrifying.  The camera angles were masterful and creepy, I found myself simply amazed by them.  I also liked the light:  flares, torches or camera through night vision, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that they were filling the rooms with creepy neon green & red lights. In that kind of atmosphere you don’t want to meet some shrieking creatures.

Something about creatures now : you can hear their shrieks and even see their silhouettes through the whole movie (even before they are officially seen), that just builds up the tense and it is very creepy. They crawl around somewhere all the time. Effects on them were done very nicely. You actually can believe something like that could happen to humanoid beings. It is just disturbing.

The fight scenes were also done awesome. They are nice and bloody (as fight scenes are supposed to be :]) but despite all that dark you can actually see what’s going on. I also have to comment the scene where that girl breaks her leg. I could literally feel her pain, it was amazingly done.

The only bad thing that I found about the movie was the stupid ending. It’s so senseless and let’s say worthless. So she escapes but after few minutes we realize that was only a dream and she is still stuck in those caves and and and..and…..THAT ‘ S IT. What now??!?!? I mean, I sat through the whole movie just for you to ruin it with this ending?  Urgh! There is a sequel to this movie and I heard it’s a good one. Generally I don’t watch sequels but I think I’ll make an exception. Have to wash the taste of the stupid ending of my mouth.

Btw I watched Neil Marshall’s other horror movie : Dog Soldiers and it is fantastic, I’ll write a review about it some other day for sure. Where has this director been through all my life :]

My rating: 9/10… It would have been higher only if the ending wasn’t so..I don’t know…