OK, so in the American version of The Descent, Sarah, the lead character, scrambles up a bone-filled hill, crawls through a hole and escapes the cave where the monsters who killed all her friends dwell. She runs through the forest like a crazy woman, gets in her car and drives away. Once she is far enough away, she pulls over to the side of the road to catch her breath, sees her friend as a “ghost”, and then realizes it is just a hallucination. Ultimately, she survives. End of story.
However, in the original British version, that is not the end of the story. She does not escape the cave. Her escape, her frantic jeep drive and her stopping on the side of the road to catch her breath is just a figment of her imagination. Ultimately, she is still in the cave – miles underground – and the Crawlers are closing in. End of story. Presumably she doesn’t survive.
Now comes the interesting development of the week: The Descent 2 is coming to theaters at some point, presumably in 2009.Â Don’t get me wrong – I’m looking forward to this. The Descent is one of the best monster movies I’ve seen in a long time and features some of the coolest, scariest creatures ever, perhaps since Alien. When I first saw this movie (the American version) in theaters, I was huddled up against my friend half the movie – and I don’t scare easily.
Still, how will The Descent 2 work? American audiences who have only seen the theatrical version will be able to shrug it off, but everyone else will be left scratching their heads when Sarah returns. And, according to the synopsis on Comingsoon.net, Sarah does return:
Picking up from where the last movie left off, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) escapes the cave and seeks refuge at a local gas station, where she collapses and is rushed to a local hospital. Not being able to speak because of the horrific events that have mentally scarred her, a search and rescue team take Sarah back to where the horrible events happened to find any possible answers and survivors. However, whilst down in the cave…things don’t go to plan as the group fight for their lives against the crawlers and find an unexpected survivor from the last film.
Now, I have to presume that most American audiences have seen the British version by now, since most people only saw the movie on DVD. If you haven’t, you should! But regardless, isn’t it a bit weird to have a sequel begin with a main character who was killed in the first one?
And this, folks, is why you don’t change endings for different audiences.