Writer-director Jason DeVan’s Along Came the Devil, was released only last year, hitting the horror community with its slow-drip pacing, which relied heavily on clever sleight-of-hand and creepy practical effects. The film was met with mixed responses but featured a killer twist ending that left space for a perfect segue into a sequel, Along Came the Devil 2, which arrives just in time to possess your Halloween.
If The Exorcist inspired Along Came Devil, it is clear from the style of the opening credits to the axe-heavy finale, that the sequel takes inspiration from The Shining. DeVan has clearly taken note of the criticisms of his previous film and opens the sequel with one of the best scares in the series. And that’s only the beginning! There are several well placed scares throughout the film.
“Better performances, a tighter story, more scares, [and] a lot more gore…”
The final reveal of Along Came the Devil showed us that Reverend Michael (Bruce Davison) has never defeated the evil he battles, in a shocking and fantastic twist not often seen in possession films. A Father Merrin inspired character, Michael is meant to be our window into the world of the supernatural, a seasoned defender of the light, in a constant battle with the darkness. While Reverend Michael’s role in the second film is diminished quite a bit from the first, seeing a man of faith portrayed as equally flawed as those he is tasked with protecting is a refreshing take of on the typical character tropes found in these films.
Along Came the Devil 2 opens with Reverend Michael dealing with the fallout from the previous film while also juggling the return of Jordan, who’s come to investigate the disappearance of her younger sister Ashley. Jordan’s investigation soon leads her to the horrifying stories and small-town rumors, which also shed some light on a few frustrating scenes from Along Came the Devil. Through these stories, Jordan becomes suspicious of Reverend Michael who, [Spoiler Alert] at the end of the previous film, is revealed to be keeping the possessed in a secret room under the church.
The family drama once again takes center stage in Along Came the Devil 2. DeVan is at his best when focusing on the tension brought on by the dark cloud that continues to hang over this family. Better performances, a tighter story, more scares, a lot more gore, and the continued use of effective practical effects all make the sequel a better film, even if the ending doesn’t stick the landing as well as the previous film. Along Came the Devil 2 is an improvement in nearly every way over the first film and, like it’s predecessor, the setup for a sequel is handled well and should make for a crazy and completely different film. Clocking-in at a brisk 85 minutes, Along Came the Devil 2 never feels like it’s overstaying it’s welcome. While it offers enough scares and gore to keep seasoned demonic possession fans happy, it simultaneously incorporates other genres to reach beyond the usual fan base.
Along Came the Devil 2 is available on VOD October 11. Are you excited to step into Jason DeVan’s world again? Let us know, and share your favorite possession movie with us on Twitter, Reddit, and in the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!