For revealing the spoilers, I'd like to apologize less for myself and more for the filmmakers who have forced me to give away some of the film's secrets because they're incompetent filmmakers. So, for director Neil Marshall and all the other idiots involved in this project: I'm sorry.
See, the film has a clear protagonist, and that's Sarah (Shauna Macdonald). She goes on a rafting trip with her best friends Juno (Natalie Jackson Mendoza) and Beth (Alex Reid), and on the way back there's a terrible accident that kills Sarah's husband and daughter.
From this point forward, the film is essentially using Sarah's point-of-view to create tension. Sarah is the one who doesn't seem quite right in the head. Sarah is the one who's having visions and hearing things. Sarah is the one who seems least capable of going on a little adventure in a cave system only a year after the accident. Sarah is the one who, when the women get lost and stuck in small passages, seems most likely to have a nervous breakdown.
The film is called "The Descent" after all, so it's not exactly an intellectual stretch to suggest that the movie could be considered a representation of Sarah's difficult inner life coping with the tragedy.
So here's the spoiler: Sarah is killed off in the last 15 minutes of the film, which I consider a total kick in the nuts. This wouldn't be the first time a bunch of filmmakers have screwed their audience over, but I'm damn well going to call them on it. It's complete and utter bullshit to compel the audience to invest in the character just to kill her off needlessly. It's even bigger bullshit when you structure the whole film around it and then just sort of decide you're going to pull the rug out from under everyone.
At the point Sarah is killed, the film declares itself full of crap and completely nonsensical. Of course, I recognized there was something wrong the second the women come upon the pack of albino gollums lurking in the caves. Isn't being stuck in a claustrophobic dark cave with seemingly no way out stress enough? Tossing in the cave creatures doesn't make the film more horrific; it makes it less horrific and completely laughable because everyone knows there aren't any albino gollums lurking in the North Carolina cave system.
"The Descent" essentially abandons its audience. If this film were a baby, it'd be a baby these filmmakers left in the street to be run over by a bus.
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