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It’s reunion day on the set of THE DESCENT: PART 2, the highly anticipated sequel to Neil Marshall’s critically acclaimed and globally popular 2005 horror hit. The “six chicks with picks” stars of THE DESCENT are back together again for one day only, to film scenes discovered on a camcorder deep in the caves where they went missing.
In the film, hitting U.S. DVD April 27 from Lionsgate, a rescue team searching for the vanished sextet finds the video footage showing the carefree girls larking about before entering the uncharted labyrinth, where most met grisly fates at the claws of the feral cannibal Crawlers. One of that rescue team is dazed-and-confused sole survivor Sarah Carter (returning star Shauna Macdonald), forced back by suspicious police into the subterranean warrens where she faced her darkest dread. Yet her worst nightmares are still to come in the continuation of her psychologically affecting story—especially when presumed-dead Juno (Natalie Mendoza, also encoring) makes a shock appearance.
But the atmosphere on the set at London’s famed Ealing Studios on this June day is one of pure undiluted joy as Macdonald and Mendoza reunite with their previous co-stars: MyAnna Buring (Sam), Alex Reid (Beth), Saskia Mulder (Rebecca) and Nora-Jane Noone (Holly). The last-named actress speaks for the group: “We’ve all kept in touch even though we’ve been married, had babies and now live all over the place. THE DESCENT was such a unique experience; it was the first film for many of us, and that tied us together. We became a family doing press junkets, attending premieres and meeting fans around the world. You can’t forget moments like that, and keeping in contact reminds us of what a fabulous ride THE DESCENT was. So we relished the opportunity of playing small parts in THE DESCENT: PART 2, especially as the script is not a cynical cash-in but a well-thought-out extension.”
Although Marshall is directing these unscripted 2nd-unit inserts involving the girls having fun at their recreated log-cabin base, it’s the only part of the DESCENT: PART 2 shoot he’s had a hand in. He explains, “When producer Christian Colson told me there was every chance of a sequel to THE DESCENT, based on its phenomenal box office around the world, I told him I had no interest in directing it. As far as I was concerned, THE DESCENT sewed everything up on my own creative terms. [His original cut, released internationally, also pretty much sealed Sarah’s fate; in the U.S., the conclusion was re-edited to allow her to escape the caverns.] At the end of the day, it was going to be another film set in caves with Crawlers, and did I want to revisit that so soon? The answer was no—the ingredients needed to be reinvented by someone else. I was happy to become an advisory executive producer and leave the rest in Christian’s safe hands. I was just so thrilled a film of mine actually warranted a sequel.”
For the whole story, pick up FANGORIA #293, on sale now. Go here to subscribe to the magazine!
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