The Witch 2: The Other One, the sequel to The Witch: Part 1: The Subversion, (not Robert Eggers’ The Witch), opens with a blood-covered young girl wandering out of a building as a voice in her head tells her to come to mother. From there we cut to a bus full of students being kidnapped and killed in order to take one girl captive. And then a pregnant woman wakes up as news of a bus accident plays on the TV.
After the credits, we see another girl, referred to only as The Girl (Shin Sia), waking up in the aftermath of a massacre, in a corridor filled with bodies and awash with blood. If this all seems a little confusing that’s because it is. Rather than a direct sequel, Park Hoon-jung (I Saw the Devil, Night in Paradise) has chosen to stay in the same world as the first film but centers the story around a mostly new cast of characters.
Eventually, The Girl is picked up by the occupants of a van that nearly hits her. They’re gangsters and have just kidnapped Kyung-hee (Park Eun-bin, Death Bell 2: Bloody Camp, Road to Boston). The Girl uses her powers to dispatch the crooks, and after getting her medical care from an alcoholic vet, Kyung-hee brings her home to stay with her and her younger brother Dae-gil (Sung Yoo-bin, Memories of the Sword, The Last Child).
This is barely scratching the surface of The Witch 2: The Other One’s plot. The film runs a massive one hundred and thirty-seven minutes and has so much going on it’s easy to lose track of it. That’s something the slow pace at which the script reveals things only makes worse as it abruptly shifts from one plot thread to the next and as often as not, more new faces.
At its most basic level The Witch 2: The Other One is a clash between multiple factions of superpowered humans. The leader of one, Dr. Baek (Min-soo Jo, Pieta, Will It Snow at Christmas?) is in a wheelchair. This only adds to the X-Men vibes the film gives off, along with Underworld, Blade and The Last Witchhunter also feeling like influences. There’s also the gang who sent the goons we saw The Girl take out earlier. They were after the farm Kyung-hee just inherited, and now they’re after revenge as well. That’s further complicated by their leader being her uncle (Jin Goo, The Admiral: Roaring Currents, The Showdown).
Of course, all of these groups will descend on the farm at the same time leading to an epic battle that takes up much of the film’s second hour. That is an extraordinary bit of violence and well worth seeing, even if getting through what comes before can be a challenge at times. The Witch 2: The Other One is full of dialogue that could have been trimmed and half-formed ideas that I’m guessing are seeds of plot elements for the inevitable third film. But they’re merely annoyances during this one.
If Park Hoon-jung had paid a bit more attention to the film at hand rather than setting up the next entry in the franchise, The Witch 2: The Other One would have been a much better film. As it is it’s worth a watch, and a hope that the third film manages to tie all the loose ends up. All the hints of cloning, and the importance of sisters and especially twins certainly are intriguing. And stick around for the post-credits sequence, it looks like it might be an important development as well.
Well Go USA will release The Witch 2: The Other One in select North American theatres on June 17th. You can check their website for a list of theatres and any announcements on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital availability. And if you’re looking for more films like this, check out FilmTagger‘s recommendations.