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August 3, 2010
The Descent: Part 2 Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
29/10/20094/8/2010Icon FilmsJon Harris
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MA15+Shauna Macdonald

Click here for your chance to Win one of 5 copies of The Descent Part 2 on Blu-Ray!

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Be quiet! They can hear you...

Typically I'm not someone that enjoys horror movies. Sure I love tension building ones like Alien but I hate those which think that to scare you, you simply need to make the loudest noise when something appears in front of you. This film has plenty of frights like that, but also plenty of tension building and gore as well. Did I ultimately enjoy this film? Certainly a lot more then I expected, and it's a decent sequel to the fantastic original.

Distraught, confused and half-wild with fear, Sarah Carter (Shauna MacDonald) emerges alone from the caving trip where she encountered unspeakable terrors. Unable to explain to the authorities what happened - or why she is covered in her friend's blood - Sarah is forced back to the subterranean depths to help locate her five missing companions. As the rescue party drives deeper into uncharted caverns, nightmarish visions of the recent past begin to haunt Sarah and she realises the full horror and futility of the mission.

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The Descent: Part 2 is on Blu-Ray now.
A couple of weeks ago I went and saw the movie Predators at cinemas and while I enjoyed the experience, with Robert Rodriguez producing I expected a pretty bloody and gory affair. I was left disappointed on that count with the original Arnold Schwarzenegger film from 20 years ago having more red matter flowing around the screen. How does this matter? Well The Descent - Part 2 isn't a movie shy of blood and gore, not in the least. Bodies are opened up, heads get crushed, blood gushes from necks (there are two great scenes; one with a rat, and a second with a pick axe!). This really is a movie which deserves its MA15+ rating so bear that in mind.

So it wins on the gore but The Descent - Part 2 is hardly what you would describe as a movie with a detailed plot, great character development or the most visually impressive movie. Certainly on the latter count there isn't too much you can do with the vast majority of the runtime is spent underground. Still there is the odd surprise here and there, and some good frights which is what you expect from a film such as this.

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Never... Ever... Look Down!
While not a massive fan of the genre I was actually entertained by The Descent - Part 2. While the plot is rather generic, there are quite a few "cool" gory moments and frights along the way. It's not quite up there with the original film but with a character or two returning, fans will want to check out this follow up which is out now on Blu-Ray.

When it comes to video transfers on Blu-Ray there are some great companies, some average ones, and some poor ones. Icon Films is a company we generally put at the higher end of the scale so we viewed this disc with some pretty high expectation. Indeed while Icon's films don't have the biggest budget or the glossiest presentations, their transfers of movies are often very impressive, and that's exactly the case here.

The Descent - Part 2 is a very dark film with the vast majority of the film taking place underground in caves. Presented in the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio using the AVC MPEG-4 codec the video is given plenty of room to breathe and often reaches over 30Mbps. Lighting is muted, primarily from torches (but there's a lot of 'ambient light' being thrown from, well, other sources). Skin tones appear natural, blood is a very oozy red, and the level of sharpness and shadow detail impresses.

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One of the, ermm, creatures in Descent 2.
There are two audio tracks on this disc, and they are nigh on identical. First of all we have a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio (24-bit/48Khz) track and a second lossless track with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. They sound is pretty much the same however we settled on our generally preferred DTS track which we find offers just a touch more clarity and impact - although technically they should be the same.

Where this audio track shines though is the use of surround sound and finer details to create an impact. Watching this movie with the lights out, and audio cranked really draws you into the film, and you'll jump out of your seat of a very regular basis. Dialogue is clear, the music subdued, but atmospheric, and the effects pretty brutal at times. All-in-all this is a great sounding film, and through the sound builds much of the atmosphere and tension.

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The Descent: Part 2 is pretty dark.
This disc includes a single English Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired which provides the subtitles coloured according to who is talking on-screen. They appear accurate to the dialogue in the samples we looked at.

Sadly there are no extras on this disc except for a couple of trailers when you start up the disc including The Descent (1:59) which seems and odd choice given almost anyone watching this sequel would have seen the original - but it's a good recap in any case, Pandorum (2:03) and Triangle (1:49) which stars Melissa George.

The Descent - Part 2 isn't up to the original film in terms of story or scares, mainly because much of the mystery is gone, but it's still a movie that will have you jumping from your seat on occasion. If you liked the first then the is a sequel worth checking out.

Review By: Dave Warner

Click here for your chance to Win one of 5 copies of The Descent Part 2 on Blu-Ray!

Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Icon Films. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.