Thursday, October 29, 2020

May The Devil Take You Too Review: An Unsettling Adventure With Great Special Effects and Gore

Release date: October 29, 2020
Running time: 107 minutes
Starring: Chelsea Islan, Widika Sidmore, Baskara Mahendra and Hadijah Shahab
Directed: by Timo Tjahjanto

A SHUDDER ORIGINAL.  Timo Tjahjanto is known for segments in anthology films The ABCs of Death and V/H/S/ 2, and features like supernatural thrill ride May the Devil Take You and action extravaganza The Night Comes for Us. Now, Tjahjanto returns with a sequel to his 2018 hit, May The Devil Take You. Two years after escaping from demonic terror, a young woman is still haunted by unnatural visions. The dangers that await her and her friends grow as a figure of darkness rises, threatening to take their lives. 

May The Devil Take You Too is a continuation of the story from the first one, with the same young woman hoping to escape the evils that plagued her in the original film.  However, she is drawn into a new predicament with a group of friends / family who are experiencing their own demonic issues.  As someone who has experience with this situation, she naturally (though somewhat forcedly) decides to help this scared group.  The setup is tenuous at best but it does at least provide some avenue for Alfie (Islan) to be thrown into this new situation.  

One thing that this film does, and something I have noticed generally with Indonesian films, is it has really great practical effects.  The make up and effects are very good, and will give you a scare without breaking your sense of disbelief.  The demonic, possessed characters look fantastic, with otherworldly white make up and plenty of blood.  And they move in a way that is off putting, sometimes through acrobatics and other times through smart camera work.  I don't know what it is about someone bent over backwards, but it is always creepy and is a fantastic addition whenever used!  And even when someone is not fully possessed, they can have some unsettling facial expressions to let you know that they are on their way.  Eyes that are too big, mouths extended in an evil grin, there are some really great touches that give this movie a scary feel.  And these effects also extend to some of the brutal scenes between demons and humans, which lead to even more gore and a good amount of blood.  

However, May The Devil Take You Too's story seems like just a vehicle for Alfie to encounter more demons.  The reason why she was summoned is strange and didn't really make sense to me.  Maybe it would have helped to see the original film, but not having that context, it felt like too convenient of a setup.  And some of the lore and consequences of Alfie's previous experience felt a little too Marvel movie for me.  It has some strange explanations for why Alfie is special here and it didn't quite add up.  It did provide for some intense confrontations with the demons in this film, but it also felt like too much of a convenient vehicle for her.  And the film relies a lot on jump scares and other terror inducing instances a little too much.  It was scary the first time, but it happened a little more than I wanted.  And the demons seemed to appear with little explanation.  There was a main anatagonist, but additional ones spawned for some reason that I couldn't quite figure out.

May The Devil Take You Too continues the story of the first Indonesian horror film, with some great practical effects and make up in this unsettling tale.  

Rent it.

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May The Devil Take You Too is available to stream on Shudder starting October 29, 2020. 

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