Reviewer grade: C-
Wes Craven and his son Jonathan co-wrote this sequel to last year's successful remake of Papa Craven's 1977 original. This time out, a team of National Guard recruits is taken into the desert of the American Southwest to find out why some scientists camped there have not been responding to radio messages. We know it's because they have been decimated by a clan of mutant cannibals. What a way to ruin a camping trip, huh?
As a horror movie about pursuit underground by creeping nasties, last year's "The Descent" has this one beaten badly, but gore-hounds should find lots to love here. On the scare-o-meter, this is hardly a blip, but it scores highly as commentary on the war in Iraq. The parallels are impossible to miss. Craven is usually more subtle than this, so you know he must be making a deliberate point. R
"? Doug Bentin