The Descent is a horror film that follows the story of six women who get trapped in a cave and are taken out by the humanoid creatures (Crawlers) living within one by one. After watching Parts 1 and 2, Reddit user u/aiai92 speculated about what really happened during the film. They suggested that the Crawlers never existed in the first place and that Sarah was the real monster and the reason her friends didn’t make it as well as her husband.
Dealing with a loss in the family is not an easy thing to do. It would certainly be a lot harder after learning about your dead husband’s affair with your friend. Fans suggested that the Crawlers could be a metaphor for Sarah and then Juno’s madness.
During Part 1, Sarah is on pills, and the women mention hallucinations several times on their trip turned horror story. Furthermore, she’s also the first to see the Crawlers and her friends as monsters, so they may just be figments of her imagination created through the combined effort of the pills she’s taking and her trauma.
It is suspected that Juno starts to go mad near the end of Part 1, specifically during the scene where a Crawler is seen approaching her. The guilt of sleeping with her friend’s husband and the pain of Sarah leaving her to die must have been enough to finally push her over the edge and make her mad.
u/aiai92 also suggests that the Crawler could be a symbol of the evil within them:
“Whenever they fought each other, the “monsters” would appear out of nowhere. For instance, Juno held a weapon on the sheriff and a monster appeared out of nowhere. She decided not to [harm] him [and] the monster disappeared.”
Several instances point towards Sarah being the true monster of The Descent (2005). She is seen behaving like one of the monsters from which she’s trying to escape. We see her emerging from a pool of questionable liquid and behaving a bit like a crawler.
In The Descent Part 2 (2009), when they found the first body while exploring the cave, Sarah didn’t look shocked but guilty, implying that she was the one who had harmed her. We see her defeat five Crawlers in Part 1, and she had five friends with her.
It has also been suggested that Sarah knew about her husband’s affair before the car crash. u/aiai92 pointed out that he seemed unalert and slow, as if he’d been drugged. They further suggested that her suspected madness was also a result of the guilt she felt in the accidental loss of her daughter, who was unfortunate collateral damage in her quest for vengeance.
Whether or not the Crawlers were real, The Descent is plenty scary and the perfect thing to watch if you want to scare yourself out of sleep for the evening.