The Descent 2 entire story revealed
When a script is reviewed by a studio you'll find that it will be someone's job to read through the script and produce notes that those higher up in the company can read through quickly and make the yes or no decisions on, and the script review notes for The Descent 2, or De2cent, have been released online.
Note that this is not the review of the final draft of the script it appears, once it was released on the internet there was suddenly an update to say that there will be re-writes. Well that covers the studio if the reading of it goes down badly with the audience, and I think it will.
Personally I think this is a terrible practice, because the decision on a script getting filmed or not could come down to these notes, the notes made by a third party who is interpreting the script and in a way re-writing it. It's really their voice and their interpretation of the story coming through, not the original scriptwriter's.
That aside, when I started reading this report, I shook my head. If this really is the script then it's not very intelligent, copies the original, and borrows from every cliché you could think of. Just read this opening section - note that there aren't any spoilers in here if you've seen the first film. If you haven't and you intend to (I think you should since I reviewed it) then stay clear:
"OPEN in the Appalachian mountains, just where the original film ended. We hear the voicemail messages of the six girls who went spelunking in the caves there and were never heard from again. A mountain RANGER's voice messages reveals that the girls are missing. Did they forget to call in? Or are they in trouble? CUT TO the rescue team outside the Boreham Caverns: there's DAN, the leader, with GREG, 22, and CATH, 27, working as volunteers. They head down into the caves, noting the dangerous outcroppings and sheer rockfaces. They emerge from the cave with no clues, glowering at Chief Deputy VAINES, who is pressured to get some kind of search party going. But where to start?
Suddenly, a woman staggers into the window of a roadhouse café, smearing it with blood. This is SARAH, one of the cavers! She collapses and is taken to the hospital, where Vaines and his younger partner, the female RIOS, try to question her. Rios tries the soft touch, but Sarah is clearly traumatized, hearing 'click' sounds everywhere, fearing for her life ... and unable or unwilling to talk. Believing that Sarah's memory is the key to finding the others, Vaines finally takes over and decides to take Sarah with them into the caves. Her memory will certainly be jogged, and maybe she can help them locate the other lost girls before time runs out.
Sarah allows herself to be taken to the mines. She sits there, numb, totally shut down. Vaines, Rios, Dan, Greg, and Cath accompany her down in the creaky elevator, where Sarah gets more and more nervous. Realizing where she is going, she finally lashes out, screaming, "Don't go down! There's something down there!" but it's too late - they are halfway down into the caves. Sarah is restrained. They reach the bottom and begin looking for the lost girls as Sarah's fear becomes nearly overwhelming. Rios tries to soothe her, but down in the dark caves, with collapsing ceilings, drips and clicks and echoes everywhere ... it's very creepy. Dan watches Sarah's reaction and regrets allowing Vaines to bring her down.
Suddenly the group comes upon a horse skeleton on the floor. Claw marks on the walls. Sarah shrinks in fear. They then find a snaplight and boot - from a caver! When Cath shouts out for the girls, Sarah tries to smother her into silence. She admits that there are "creatures" down there. Then they find the body of a girl (REBECCA from the first film). Half of her face is missing; a rat slips out of her mouth. Should Sarah be considered a suspect?"
Oh dear. I totally baulked at the idea that Sarah is incoherent and yet they drag her down the caves anyway, knowning that's where she came from. Did they not instigate a proper search to begin with? Then, when she becomes upset, they restrain her and take her down anyway? Wow, talk about cliché and going against everything that you could probably imagine happening.
There is one interesting twist in the story, which I won't go into, but from the review it just seems so poorly handled and unexploited it falls flat.
I can't say I'm interested to see The Descent 2 especially as it reads as though it is totally engineered in order to create the same situation again.
Here are a few comments from the closing summary:
"It's nice to move back so confidently to the simple gross-out genre, as opposed to the torture porn of recent years."
I can't believe someone in a studio is banding about that inanely stupid non-genre title. In a way this fits right into their definition of torture porn anyway, they are forcing the characters into a confined situation and subjecting them to terror, torture, and ultimately death...I can't make up my mind if I'm thinking of the audience or the characters in the film.
"One reason the script feels so lean is because the characters have no personality, no back story, no stereotypical sexual persona, and no burning issue they have to come to grips with during the film (arc!). It's actually quite refreshing to read a script that hasn't been overdeveloped"
What? That's something to be proud of? No personality, no back story, and nothing they have to overcome during the film? Is that refreshing? That sounds like an utterly uninteresting film in which you have nobody to feel sympathies for, no one to connect with, and nothing to draw you in.
Gee, there's another gore filled moment, oh look there's another. Even slasher films have something more than this appears to.
I'll refrain from telling you the ending, but it's simply one of those moments where they've been backed into a corner up against impossible odds and they find this item, which they've forgotten about all this time, which is going to help them.
It's a tired moment when a writer has backed the characters into a corner and doesn't know how to get them out - Oh I know, here's this thing that they've forgotten about and magically...
You can read the whole thing over at Bloody Disgusting, but I can honestly tell you it's pretty poor and doesn't come near the strength of The Descent. I'm bitterly disappointed, although in a way I actually got what I was expecting, nothing that great and an attempt at more of the same.