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Film Review: “May the Devil Take You Too” Is a Horror Sequel That Matches Its Predecessor in Terror and Tops It in Senselessness

Written by: Adam Vaughn | October 28th, 2020

Film poster: “May the Devil Take You Too”

May the Devil Take You Too (Timo Tjahjanto, 2020) 3 out of 4 stars.

As far as horror sequels are concerned, a continuing franchise must add some new and interesting elements to the story, ones that propel the protagonists forward and bring the stakes and obstacles to new levels. For director Timo Tjahjanto’s newest film, May the Devil Take You Too, succeeds in being in the same vein as the original May the Devil Take You,with a similar style in horror imagery and fast-paced editing. Yet, in an attempt to create a grander and more intense world of horror for the main characters, May the Devil Take You Too errs on the side of over-the-top story points and overused tropes to carry a plot possibly too similar to the first one, but without the raw, honest storytelling.

May the Devil Take You Too returns the characters of Alfie (Chelsea Islan, Headshot) and Nara (Hadijah Shahab, The 3rd Eye 2) to the demonic scene from which they escaped two years ago. When a group of orphans kidnap the two sisters in an attempt to solve their own diabolic problems, Alfie and Nara must once again battle the deadly opponents to save their lives. But at what cost can Alfie and Nara survive this new round of supernatural terror?

Hadijah Shahab in MAY THE DEVIL TAKE YOU TOO ©Shudder

May the Devil Take You Too utilizes the same conventions in the first film that effectively deliver scares, gruesomeness and even surprises that the first May the Devil Take You film successfully achieved. The similar cinematic style, use of various colors and textures to emphasize graphic and terrifying imagery, and the breakneck editing of the film once again do director Tjahjanto justice, as he continues to push the boundaries of the story with new and chilling ways to keep the audience engaged.

But for all of Tjahjanto’s clever aesthetic, May the Devil Take You Too seems narratively a bit pointless at times. Sure, newer and interesting characters are introduced, with an extremely loose connection to the protagonists and a borderline coincidental way of moving the story forward, but one cannot help but feel a forced objective to go above and beyond the first film, at the cost of maybe trying too many bland and uninteresting twists and turns.

Chelsea Islan in MAY THE DEVIL TAKE YOU TOO ©Shudder

While the overall story arc lacks the fresh, cohesive form of May the Devil Take You, this film still makes good in providing a scary, supernatural addition to the franchise, and expanding on Alfie’s journey as a heroine. In many ways, May the Devil Take You Too comes with a sense of empowerment for Chelsea Islan’s character, and her performance, mixed with the film’s intense and winding tone, still succeeds in delivering a suspenseful and entertaining narrative.

In total, May the Devil Take You Too will certainly please viewers who found a memorable chill and thrill in the first installment, and possibly even get the narrative closure that May the Devil Take You intentionally left open. For the viewer looking to see a solid film trumped by its sequel in content and style, May the Devil Take You Too falls flat attempting to do it better. This, however, does not take away from the shock value and fine horror elements of the movie.

Still image from MAY THE DEVIL TAKE YOU TOO ©Shudder

Adam Vaughn is a graduate of the Film & Moving Image program at Stevenson University, with a focus in Cinematography and Production. He also has a minor in Theater and Media Performance. Adam works as a freelance photographer and videographer, focusing his craft on creating compelling photographic and cinematic imagery. Adam is excited to join the Film Festival Today team and explore the world of cinema and visual arts.

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