Known for his visceral action and horror films Timo Tjahjanto (The Night Comes For Us, Killers), took a step into the supernatural with May the Devil Take You. Now he returns with May the Devil Take You: Chapter Two. And just as the first film was influenced by The Evil Dead, the sequel takes many of its cues from the sequel.
Alfie (Chelsea Islan, Headshot) and Nara (Hadijah Shahab, The 3rd Eye 2) are still alive after the events of the first film. They just want to move on and restart their lives. But they get dragged back into the conflict when they’re kidnapped by a group of orphans.
Jenar (Shareefa Danish, The Curse, Macabre), Budi (Bhaskara Mahendra), Gadis (Widika Sidmore), Leo (Arya Vasco, Death Whisper), Kristi (Lutesha), and Martha (Karina Salim) were all abused by the demonic Ayub (Tri Hariono) while growing up. They burnt him alive, but death hasn’t stopped him tormenting them. They’ve brought Alfie and Nara to the now-abandoned orphanage in the hopes they can once again defeat the evil.
May the Devil Take You: Chapter Two gets off to a fast start as Gadis and her friend Dewi (Aurélie Moeremans, Foxtrot Six) have a run-in with something sinister. From there we get into a plot that mixes Evil Dead 2 with Dream Warriors. There are also elements reminiscent of The Queen of Black Magic, a recent collaboration between two other Indonesian genre heavyweights, Joko Anwar, (Ritual, Impetigore) and Tjahjanto’s former partner Kimo Stamboel.
The result is actually a lot of fun if nothing ground-breaking. The former orphanage is a suitably spooky and isolated location. The demons, while maybe a bit too much like Deadites, make good antagonists. Especially later in the film when they start directly channelling their master.
May the Devil Take You: Chapter Two also some good laughs mixed in with the scares. Alfie has to throw up the horns, metal style, to invoke her new powers. And, while far from the first time it’s been done, the demon flipping her off after getting a beatdown got a laugh from me. Once she starts dropping the one-liners, Alfie is on her way to becoming the new Ash.
I was surprised, and not in a good way, at how much Tjahjanto seemed to be holding himself back when it came to putting violence on the screen. The kills are at least somewhat bloody, but for the most part, rather tame. If you’ve seen The Night Comes for Us or Headshot then you know he has no problem dealing out extremely brutal and outrageous violence. And it would have been perfect in a film like this, something Stamboel realized, and used to his advantage, when he made The Queen of Black Magic.
Taken for what it is though, May the Devil Take You: Chapter Two is a fun riff on Raimi’s franchise. And it’s certainly better than the conventional zombie films that are still flooding the streaming channels. It played its native Indonesia in February. The first film went to Netflix, but May the Devil Take You: Chapter Two will premiere on Shudder as May the Devil Take You Too on October 29th.