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YMMV: The Descent
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Some see Sarah as a sympathetic and crazy Woobie, while others see her as a evil psychopath who committed an unredeemable act. Some see Juno as a flawed but ultimately heroic badass, while others see her as the selfish bitch who got all her friends killed by taking them to the wrong cave and practically murdered Beth. Word of God states that Juno's character was deliberately created to make the audience flip-flop between loving her and hating her.
    • Question: What would you do if your home was invaded by a bunch of weird-looking giantesses with insanely advanced technology who were impossible to communicate with?
  • Better on DVD: Played straight and subverted at the same time. On one hand, there is a lot of detail and scenes that you can't really enjoy as much unless it's on a huge high def cinema screen, but on the other hand, there's a lot of subtle things in the scenery and with character interactions that you don't notice the first few times you see it.
    • Some have actually stated they prefer home viewing, as watched in the dark with no distracting noises provide for one unsettling experience.
  • Broken Base: See the entry on Alternate Character Interpretation.
  • Epileptic Trees: Some view the film as being Through the Eyes of Madness - that Sarah is imagining the presence of the Crawlers and is the one killing her friends, having completely lost it. This idea is suggested, but is ambiguous at best (and the sequel pretty much kills the idea).
    • Another theory is that Sarah also perished in the car crash and the rest of the film is a Dying Dream.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The Crawlers' clicks and screeches, and the disembodied child's laughter that Sarah keeps imagining.
    • The sound of the rope slicing into Becca's hand.
  • Moral Event Horizon: For some, Sarah crosses this when she impales Juno's leg with a pick and leaves her for dead, after learning that the latter not only left Beth for dead and lied about it, but she was also having an affair with her late husband. (Although, to be fair, Sarah had become rather batshit by that point.)
    • For some others, Juno crossed this when she left Beth for dead and lied about it. It's kind of a touchy, but much-brought up subject amongst fans.
      • One could also argue that Juno did this much earlier by tricking her friends into the wrong cave, including a novice, or that her affair with Sarah's husband qualifies.
  • Nausea Fuel: Holly breaking her leg, resulting in the splintered bone poking out of the wound - and having to have said bone pushed back in minutes later.
  • Paranoia Fuel: You probably shouldn't watch this film if you're planning on going caving any time soon.
  • Special Effects Failure: While most of the effects are extremely convincing, at least one of the Crawlers coming towards Juno towards the end is very blatantly a CG effect.
  • Squick: Falling into a pool of blood.
    • The sequel managed to top it: Falling into a pool of blood and crawler shit.
  • Too Cool to Live: Holly, the bad ass tough girl who loves thrills, is the first main character to die. Her broken leg sort of made her an easy target.
    • And even more so after that, Juno and Sarah.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Why yes, Beth, by all means go ahead and put your hand on the shoulder of a woman who's just killed a few monsters with her ice-axe without letting her know it's you. The need for silence is understandable, but come on!
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The movie makes the standard Developing Doomed Characters segment more exciting by having the characters spend it trapped in a cave. A dark cave, filled with narrow passageways barely large enough to crawl through and gaping chasms that they have to cross by clinging to the ceiling. This is enough material to sustain a horror movie all on its own; having the cave *also* contain monsters on top of that was overkill and not necessary at all (although YMMV).
  • Uncanny Valley: The crawlers were originally going to look more animalistic, but when they did the prosthetics tests, they decided it was scarier to have them closer to human.
  • The Woobie: Everyone gets their moments, although the most prominent example would be Sarah, pre-Ax-Crazy.

The Sequel

  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: Many criticized the film for having the exact same plot as the first, some even suspect solely to pander to fans of the first film.
  • Moral Event Horizon: How the four survivors were whittled down to three. It's kind of hard to like the women when they would kill each other in a heartbeat in order to save themselves, even if they do change their minds about it later. The three women together could have at least tried harder to save Sheriff Vaines, as opposed to quickly giving up and deciding to slowly and painfully hack his hand off.
    • Considering Vaines got all of them into the situation, placed himself in the situation by handcuffing himself to Sarah, and in general made everything worse, along with the fact if they didn't free Sarah she'd die too, this seems a lot more justifiable.
  • Retcon: Juno being alive. Sarah too, sort of - it wasn't as certain as Juno's death, but the implication of the first movie's ending was that she was going to sit there until the crawlers stumbled across her. They could have been following the revised ending where she escaped, except her description of how she got out by following an underground stream would be an even bigger Retcon.
  • The Scrappy: The whole movie. Sheriff Vaines as well
  • Sequelitis: For various reasons, Part 2 received a much weaker reception than its predecessor. Among these include the lack of the original's trademark darkness (and thus atmosphere) and the tacked-on Shocking Swerve.
  • Shocking Swerve: The ending. Rios escapes only to be coldcocked with a shovel by the old man at the beginning. With a confused look on his face, he drags her back to the hole and leaves her there.
  • Special Effects Failure: The Crawlers seem to have been occasionally using Stop Motion. Very jerky Stop Motion.
    • On top of that, the pink and sometimes orange blood.

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