This week's 'Past Tense' we get lost in the depths in Neil Marshall's "The Descent"...
The motion picture opened on August 4th, 2006 (States). It was made with a budget of £3,500,000 (estimated) and grossed over 57 million during its worldwide run (United Kingdom feature). The film opened number five at the box office (America), the following week it dropped to number seven.
The feature opened against "Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest", "Monster House", "World Trade Center" and "Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby".
This release originally came with a cardboard slipcover which mirrored the case's wraparound. It also came with a two page booklet showcasing the bonus content. And an ad for D.E.G.
(Digital Entertainment Group
) - a mini insert saying don't purchase bootlegs, buy the real thing.
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Nearly all the major stores had an exclusive for this motion picture. In the end, I bought this movie three times over. I can't recall if I made my money back on Ebay
, selling the extra copies.
Okay. I have zero bonus screen snaps. Why? None of the exclusive DVDs have menus, all of them have single featurettes which auto play upon insertion. Sorry.
That being said; "The Descent" came onto home video on December 26th, 2006. Best Buy
offered the bonus disc titled "A Special Breed Of Effects And Actors", this has a run time of 11:50 minutes. This $16.99 set was housed in a two disc DVD case.
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Next up was Circuit City
, their bonus disc was titled "Creating An Underground World". This too came in a two disc DVD case. It has a run time of 9:57 minutes. It should be mentioned that their $16.99 exclusive did not come with a booklet just that D.E.G.
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Lastly we have Wal-Mart
, their bonus disc came inside of its own case. As with other exclusives from that time; bonus discs were omitted from widescreen editions. If you wanted it, you HAD to buy full screen. Friggin' retarded. I did learn much later that there was an exception, Sam's Club
sold the set with widecreen.
This was packed side by side with the movie, priced at $18.99. Their featurette was titled "The Fine, Fearless And Feisty" and ran for 9:33 minutes. Researching, I discovered that this set is still available on Wal-Mart
's website, now for $19.96. Is that full or wide? I read nothing
on presentation. I'm gonna guess it's still full.
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The movie is five years old. Most have already seen it so I'm not going to make this a mouse over.
There seems to be confusion over the ending; why did Sarah (Shauna MacDonald) stab Juno (Natalie Jackson Mendoza) in the knee? The answer, or rather the main reason is subtle at the start.
During the Crawler attack, Juno accidentally stabs Beth (Alex Reid) in the neck. Rather than trying to help her, she bolts. Leaving her friend to die alone as a meal for the subterranean creatures, but not before grasping and removing Juno's necklace. Later in the feeding pit, Sarah finds the mortally wounded Beth; barely able to speak.
Beth says to Sarah: "It was Juno's. Paul gave it to her." The necklace has an engraving, 'Love every day'. It's something her husband always used to say.
Juno was having an affair with Paul (Oliver Milburn). Before at the cabin, Juno apologizes to Sarah for not being there when he died: "We all lost something in that accident." After he died, Juno completely cut off all contact with Sarah. Now that comment has a different weight. Plus when she walked by her (at the cabin), Juno clutches the necklace, not allowing the engraving to be seen.
Just before the fatal car crash (flashback), Paul was somewhat distant, not playing attention; something was on his mind. It resulted in his death and the death of their daughter, Jessica (Molly Kayll).
The tally. Juno cheated with Sarah's husband and inadvertly killed her friend's partner and child. Juno was the one who got them into this cave mess in the first place, she picked a location where no help would ever come. Juno accidentally killed Beth, but didn't fess up to it when asked - she lied: "watched her die."
Juno's excursion ended up killing ALL of Sarah friends, her last bastion of sanity. In sort, stabbing Juno and leaving her to die to the horde was karma. And remember, Juno's expression after being impaled wasn't that of pain, but sorrow. Watch it.
She knows that Sarah knows.
There was another reason... because of Juno's actions, Sarah had to kill her BFF (Beth remained when Paul died, helping her through her darkest time) to end her suffering. That's messed up.
Some food for thought. Sarah knew the way out.
She found the chalk arrows (marking the direction they came in) from the pervious doomed expedition, but instead went in the opposite direction... to find Juno. Monsters in the dark be damned, revenge.
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This movie registered on mainstream's radar and is known by a good chuck of genre fans. But Marshall (director) had done another horror feature before "The Descent"... the 2002 motion picture, "Dog Soldiers". In short, werewolfs, but none of that "Twilight" bullshit - nasty, mean and oh so very hungry.
A British military unit on a training operation in the Highlands of Scotland find themselves targeted by supernatural beasts. Their rival team is slaughtered. Can they survive to dawn? This turned out - as you hoped, bad ass.
Gory and smart. Seek it out. Be aware, the newer DVD is bare bones. The first pressing has special features (commentary, making-of featurette and trailer); Artisan Home Entertainment
, 2003. Bought mine from Circuit City
many moons ago.
A few years back Best Buy
had an exclusive steelbook case for it, but this was for the bare bones version.