Welcome to another episode of I Would Have Saved/Killed. It goes like this: one of our writers will pick a character, big or small, from a movie and explain how they, for whatever reason, would have altered the fate of that character.

Don't worry, we will never spoil anything pre-jump, though obviously everything after the break is operating under the assumption you've seen the film at hand, so be warned. And a big tip of our hat to Arbogast on Film for inspiring us with his post The One You Might Have Saved.

Name: Sarah

Fate: Alive

Method of Survival: Crawls out of a hole to escape blind, subterranean cave people.

Verdict: I would have caved her skull in.

Reason: She doesn't deserve to live. That's not just because I'm one of few who thinks The Descent is a highly mediocre film and I would just like to throw some more cheap shots at it by killing off its characters, either. I think given the information we're presented, Sarah simply should not have survived the caves.

She's not the most experienced climber in the group. She's not the strongest. She doesn't appear to be the smartest. And, unlike seemingly everyone else in the group, given that her husband and daughter have recently died, she really doesn't have any thing to live for, either. Hell, the whole point of the trip was to cheer her up because she'd been depressed. Sure, her crawling out of the hole at the end of the movie is a not-at-all subtle "Look, she's being reborn!" moment, but it's all rather forced to me.

I know that Neil Marshall's director's cut ends the film with her still inside the caves, which is certainly where she belongs to wind up at the end of it all, but even with that ending she's still alive. The creatures in The Descent might be outlandish, but the film's core strength relies on creating a plausible, realistic survival film regardless of the premise and though I certainly have problems with some of the scripting, for the most part that is the case. Really, none of those women deserve to live.

I mean that not in an "I hate them so much I want to see them die" way (though I do), but purely from a logistical stand point. The odds are stacked against them and nothing we're given establishes that any of them, save for Juno, has what it takes to actually claw ruthlessly through rock and bone to get out. Were the film to definitively drive that point home by killing Sarah (and simply implying she's probably going to die isn't good enough), I'd have much more admiration for it than I do now.
categories Features, Horror