The Descent Part 2 is a 2009 British horror film and a sequel to the 2005 horror film The Descent. Shot in London, the film was released in cinemas in the UK on 2 December 2009 and straight to DVD on 27 April 2010 in the US. The film was produced by Christian Colson and co-produced by Paul Ritchie with Neil Marshall, the producer and director of the original, as executive producer.
Two days after the events of the first film, a traumatized and blood-covered Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) escapes the cave with no memory of the events that occurred within it. She is taken to a hospital, where it is revealed some of the blood on her matches that of Juno Kaplan (Natalie Mendoza). Sheriff Vaines (Gavan O'Herlihy) demands that along with his deputy Ellen Rios (Krysten Cummings), Sarah and three specialists – Dan (Douglas Hodge), Greg (Joshua Dallas) and Cath (Anna Skellern) – must go back into the cave to find the missing women. A new entrance is found with the help of a sniffer dog. The team members are sent down via an old mine shaft operated by the old, mysterious Ed Oswald (Michael J. Reynolds).
Upon passing through the abandoned mine and into the caves, the group discovers the mutilated body of Rebecca, causing Sarah to have short flashbacks of the crawlers. Further on, whilst crawling through a narrow tunnel in the caves, Sarah has a longer flashback of the previous events, and in a nervous panic, attacks Vaines, Greg and Elen and runs off deeper into the caves. Vaines pursues Sarah but eventually runs into a crawler and fires a shot that causes part of the cave to collapse, separating Cath from the rest of the group and trapping her within a rock choke. Elen, Dan and Greg arrive in a room full of bones where they find the video camera used by Holly in the first film. They watch the playback, which reveals the women were attacked by the cave dwelling 'crawlers'. Then, the three are attacked by a group of crawlers and separated.
The trio split, and Elen starts calling for help, alerting the crawlers to her location, but is stopped by Sarah, who warns Elen that the crawlers are blind and hunt via sound. The two then watch as a crawler attacks and kills Dan, ripping his throat open and dragging him away. Later, Cath escapes from the rock choke and kills a crawler in the process, before running into a frightened Greg. The two climb away from a crawler and use their radio to divert the pursuing crawler away from them. They travel deeper into the cave and find the corspe of Sam hanging above the chasm where she was killed in the first film. They decide to try to use her to swing across the chasm, but are both attacked by crawlers. Greg falls into the chasm, whilst tackling a female crawler, and although Cath makes it to the other side, she is attacked and killed once she gets there.
Elen and Sarah wander deeper into the cave, and kill another crawler. Elen reveals she has a daughter by recording a video message on her mobile phone in case she dies. Thinking of her own daughter, Elen's words to hers make Sarah even more determined to escape. Vaines is wandering around the cave and is about to be killed by a crawler before he is saved by Juno, who is revealed to be alive, though somewhat disturbed, and adept at hunting the crawlers. Elen and Sarah crawl through a tunnel and, escaping a crawler, fall into a communal defecation grounds pool. A fight ensues between Elen, Sarah, and a crawler with the two teaming up in order to kill it. Later, all four meet up again. Juno, furious that Sarah left her behind, immediately engages in a fight with her. After the short scrap, they all decide it is best they work together to survive and escape. Juno leads them off into the feeding pit, which she claims has a passage to the surface that the crawlers use to gather food from above the ground. Vaines handcuffs Sarah to him so she cannot leave them to die like she did to Juno. As they progress, Vaines falls over a ledge, almost taking Sarah with him, however she begs Juno to help her, which ends up in Juno ordering Elen to cut off Vaines' hand to save Sarah from falling as well.
At the film's climax, Elen, Sarah and Juno reach the exit, but are blocked by a small group of crawlers. As they try to tip-toe around the crawlers, Juno is grabbed by a dying Greg, causing her to scream in surprise, gaining the attention of four crawlers. Greg promptly dies and the women are left to fight off the crawlers. The battle is tough, but Elen, Sarah and Juno kill a crawler each. After that, Sarah sees that Juno is losing the battle to a crawler much larger than the others so attempts to strangle it from behind. Tensing up, the crawler rips into Juno's stomach, mortally wounding her. She and Sarah finish it off before Juno dies in Sarah's arms. Full of guilt and despair, Sarah tearfully closes Juno's eyes and places her necklace in her hand with the words "Love Each Day" engraved on the metal. As Sarah mourns for Juno's loss, Elen turns around to leave, but finds them surrounded by a large group of crawlers. With nothing left to lose, Sarah, in a noble act of self-sacrifice, screams, drawing the attention of every crawler, allowing Elen a chance to escape.
Elen bursts through the exit of the cave, exactly how Sarah did when she originally escaped, and is about to call for help using her cell phone, before she is attacked by Ed, who hits her in the face with a shovel and drags her back to the entrance as food for the crawlers. As Elen regains consciousness from the hit, a bloodied crawler jumps out of the entrance as the film ends and presumably takes her back into the cave.
Shauna Macdonald as Sarah Carter
Natalie Mendoza as Juno Kaplan
Krysten Cummings as Elen Rios
Gavan O'Herlihy as Sheriff Vaines
Joshua Dallas as Greg
Douglas Hodge as Dan
Anna Skellern as Cath
Michael Reynolds as Ed Oswald
Doug Ballard as Doctor Roger Payne
Saskia Mulder as Rebecca (corpse)
MyAnna Buring as Sam (corpse)
Due to the first film being a commercial and critical success, it was decided that a sequel would be produced. While Marshall would not direct the film, he was assigned to oversee its production.
Marshall received the first draft of the film in late July 2006, with no directors or cast in mind. He made it clear that intended to incorporate more of the feeling of claustrophobia like that of a particular scene in the previous film. Marshall tells Bloody-Disgusting.com about new ideas for the film, "The monsters they can deal with, and a bit of the claustrophobia, they can deal with, but the combination is definitely something we want to incorporate that into the sequel, by putting the monster and the girls in a really tight spot."
When The Descent was released in 2006 in the United States, Lionsgate picked up the film as distributor and edited the last few minutes of the film, changing the ending. When Dreadcentral.com asked Marshall which of the film's two endings the sequel would be picking up after, he said that it would not be known until he approved a script.
Filming began in May 2008 at Ealing Studios in London. Ealing Studios was featured on BBC London in June 2008 going behind the scenes of the filming of 'Part 2'. In that broadcast it was confirmed that Shauna MacDonald would be returning to play her character Sarah. Most of the other original cast members are now also returning although most of them only in flashbacks and possible hallucinations. The film was shot on all three of the main stages at Ealing Studios and some scenes were filmed on location at the Bourne Woods near Farnham in southwest Surrey, England.
The film was filmed using elaborate sets, miniatures, and blue screen digital images. This was revealed on BBC London's behind the scenes look.
The production was designed by Simon Bowles who designed the original film, art directed by Mark Scruton. The sets were built by DRS Construction and Armordillo.
The digital set extensions and all VFX were created by Swedish VFX company Filmgate.