Sunday, April 24, 2011

REVIEW: The Descent: Part 2 (2009)

POLICE REPORT
From the Desk of Sheriff Bradley Pickett
1767 Pinewood Lane, Orlando FL 32822

NATURE OF CRIME: Film-related death.

VICTIMS: One Lawrence Griffin, happened to be viewing the film in full.

SUSPECTS: Director Jon Harris and producers Ivana Mackinnon and Christian Colson.

INJURIES SUSTAINED: Tragic death of individual who viewed a lethal, toxic film.

NOTES: Horribly decayed, face in an expression of awe and shock. Emergency medical examiner reportedly had to avert eyes upon finding the TV still playing the end credits of the film – apparently, even those are toxic. It is no wonder, then, that the deceased was killed by a whole hour and a half of this film…his brain will be dissected shortly to find out the complete cause.

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The following is taken from text messages between Dr. Phillip Rahdemaker and his secretary, Tina Jenkins.

R: Isn’t this a shame?

J: I know.

R: I wonder  what would possess a guy to watch a movie like this anyway?

J: Extreme boredom?

R: Looks like he got more than he bargained for.

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DR. JOHN STUDMAN’S ANALYSIS:

FOREWARD: The following is all speculation, taken from various sources who knew Lawrence, reviews on his blog and my own knowledge of psychology and of cinema, both of which I have an expertise in. From this point forth Lawrence will be known as 'the deceased' to avoid further confusion.

The deceased was reported to have turned on the film at around 1 in the afternoon. He was immediately prone to an immense amount of uncaring about anything the film did. It was a piecemeal, dullard piece of work. The pacing was so dire that it lacked any tension at all. The first movie started off in a way that introduced you to the characters and gave a good amount of development, but that was quickly shat on with this sequel, as no character was really given any depth or motivation for what they did. Truly this was the work of a writer who had no creativity and nothing at all to contribute to the film world…in fact, consider adding the writer to the list of suspects, too.

For forty minutes the deceased was tormented by the film’s idiotic pacing and horrible characters. The sheriff thinks it’s a great idea to take poor Sarah, who has just come out of the cave from the end of the first one (well, one of the endings anyway) down BACK INTO THE CAVES to search for the missing girls. Why? Wouldn’t it be just the same to go back in there without her? It’s a dark, dank, perilous cavern. How would having her there change ANYTHING that happened? But the sheriff persists, illogically, without reason. And they also hire British people who you can never understand a word they are saying to come and dive the caves with them for no apparent reason – to appear more cultured? Who really knows.

The deceased was subjected to copious amounts of torture as the film plods along doing absolutely nothing even though the plot itself seems like it would naturally lend to at least SOME tension and excitement. This movie was simply so inept that it rendered the deceased insane. It is my standing hypothesis that this was the first stone thrown in the eventual mental decay of the deceased.

And the jump scares, so poorly done that they almost caused the deceased to aneurysm right there. They were all cheap shots, and none were even remotely effective or terrifyingly at all. The deceased detested the jump scares so much that they caused his blood pressure to boil. They were simply so tacky, so evident that no one on the entire film crew had anything better to contribute, anything of higher artistic value. He could not fathom a lower level of worthlessness in horror movie cinema. Even films like The Unborn or Boogeyman had more going on in them, had more merit to them than this did.

Nothing was happening. There seemed to be endless scenes with nothing but people crawling around in the dark, not exchanging any meaningful dialogue and not furthering the plot in any way, just waiting to get killed off like a statistic. The deceased’s brain continued to deteriorate; we hypothesize, with each asinine jump scare, with each assumption by the filmmakers that he would care about what was going on in the movie. The fact was, he simply could not. There was no substance. There was nothing to grasp. The Descent: Part 2 was simply a cinematic dead end. The film attempted to introduce conflict by bringing back a character from the first film, Juno…who is not a sassy pregnant girl…who hates Sarah for stabbing her in the leg and abandoning her at the end of the first one.

But even this did not bring about anything interesting. The deceased became more and more enraged by the ludicrous nature of the scenes where the movie seemingly forgot that Juno had been stabbed in the leg. The character was shown jumping and running around like she had no injuries at all. Even if he were to accept that Juno could have healed enough in 2 days to walk around, the deceased could never have accepted that she would be well enough to do the acrobatic stunts she does…and furthermore, why would Juno have continued fighting the monsters when, at the end of the first film, she and Sarah were so close to the exit when Sarah betrayed her? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Juno to simply run after Sarah and exit the caves, too? What was the logic in having Juno stay in the caves just to continually fight the creatures for two days? Nothing in the film made sense to the deceased by this point, and his mental fabric was starting to crumple.

The end of the film, after more senseless and random violence that did not really do anything for the story, was simply confusing, and random. By the time the crazy old groundskeeper who was nowhere to be seen in the first movie came out and whacked the one surviving girl on the head with a shovel, inexplicably dragging her back to the opening of the cave, the deceased was mentally beaten to a pulp. The film had taken its toll. What sense did this ending make? None, none at all. Why would the old guy give the girl back to the monsters? Was it a conspiracy this whole time? If so, what the hell was the logic in that? Was he just crazy? The deceased could not wrap his head around this, and blanked out completely, the ensuing last jump scare before the credits the last nail in his coffin, per se. And so, another one was lost.

If only filmmakers would try harder to create movies that made sense. Maybe then we wouldn’t have so many cases like this one, with good people destroyed by films so endowed with horrible writing, lazy pacing, faceless characters and no tension. If only…