After breaking out in a big way with low budget werewolf action horror Dog Soldiers, which became a firm B-movie favorite in the early years of the 21st Century, Neil Marshall cemented his status as one of the genre’s fastest rising talents with his sophomore feature The Descent.
The atmospheric, claustrophobic, intensely gripping and terrifying tale of a group of cave-diving friends trapped underground with a mysterious race of cannibals was a major success, but over fifteen years later it remains the high point of Marshall’s career from both a critical and commercial standpoint.
The Descent made more money at the box office than his terrible Hellboy reboot despite costing fifteen times less to produce, securing a solid Rotten Tomatoes score of 86% in the process, and it endures as one of the most purely nerve-shredding horrors of the modern era. A sequel was released in 2009, but Marshall was only involved as an executive producer, with Part 2 a pale imitation of the first installment.
However, in a recent interview, the director admitted that he isn’t completely against the idea of returning to the subterranean thrills of The Descent, but it hardly sounds as though he’s chomping at the bit, either.
“Those books are definitely not closed. I could revisit the world of The Descent but with that one it was kind of intended to be a one-off. And then the sequel got made anyway.”
Marshall may have failed to capitalize on his early big screen momentum, but he’s since gained a reputation as one of television’s most reliable directors having helmed memorable episodes of Game of Thrones, Black Sails, Westworld and Hannibal. His most recent film, The Reckoning, played at drive-ins last year and is currently awaiting any sort of substantial theatrical release, while he’s still to commit to his next feature-length project, although a Dog Soldiers follow-up has also been mentioned.