No one is going to say ‘Along Came the Devil 2’ is a groundbreaking sequel, but what writer/director/producer Jason DeVan serves up is unsettling to say the least. Oozing with dread and atmospheric doom, this film captures the ragged edges of a family thrust into the depths of horror.
Jordan (Laura Slade Wiggins) receives a disturbing phone call about a missing family member and rushes back to her old home town. Equally disturbing when she arrives is the remnants of her relationship with her estranged father (Mark Ashworth), who is trying to pick up the pieces and bring their father-daughter relationship to a place of healing. Plagued with flashbacks of his former abusive alcoholic days, we see that Dad is in fact, trying his best to move forward. Helping wounds heal is Revered Michael (Bruce Davison), the local priest that knows all too well of the family’s troubled history.
Jordan decides, maybe prematurely, to stay at her father’s home where we meet her younger brother, Xander (Cassius DeVan) and Mark’s new-ish wife, Karen (Tiffany Fallon). I got the feeling that no matter what crimes filled the past, Mark and his family are trying their best to make Jordan comfortable in her awkward stay, despite some intense moments that crop up along the way. Films, horror films in particular, are often times terrible at painting realistic families, but this film does a great job of showcasing the hurt and hopefulness.
Before long, Jordan is getting together with old friends and learning terrible facts about her missing relative, facts that all come knocking in the brutal third act. The setup for the final act felt a little forced to me, but they all come together in a gruesome climax that I wasn’t expecting.
This film does a killer job of keeping us on our toes, not relying solely on predictable jump scares, but rather through palpable suspense and even misdirection. Scares can be cheap, but DeVan knows how to set up the real terror. Fans of blood and guts will appreciate the twisted climax, as will fans of supernatural horror. All in all, this wasn’t what I expected. Dutifully acted and directed, ‘Along Came the Devil’ was a welcome treat in the over-abundant Halloween movies tricks that we endure every October. My final score for this one is a respectable B-.
‘Along Came the Devil 2’ slithers into theaters and VOD on October 11th.