Along Came the Devil II (2019)

alongcamethedevil2

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After the success of their 21st-century take of The Exorcist, director Jason DeVan returns with this sequel that has the rarity of being just as good as its original film thanks to its shocking third-act twist to the story.

The events surrounding Ashley Winbourne and her demonic possession has taken its toll on Reverend Michael, who lost his protégé Pastor John as a result of what had happened. When Ashley’s sister Jordan, now in college, receives a voicemail from her aunt Tanya, warning her to come home because something has happened to Ashley, Jordan decides to return home to find out what has happened. Upon her arrival, she is met by both Reverend Michael and her estranged father, Mark, who is also trying to not only figure things out but make amends with Jordan for his tragic past involving his alcoholism and his treatment of his daughters.

Jordan stays with Mark, his wife Karen, and stepson Xander, who had always taken a liking to Jordan. As Jordan begins to investigate what has happened to Ashley, she is not convinced that Ashley and Tanya left town as a result of Ashley’s mental breakdown. Meanwhile, Reverent Michael, still reeling and feeling guilty for his unsuccessful exorcism, comes clean to Mark about how both Ashley and her late mother Sarah were possessed by the same demon and that Jordan may be next. Mark, angered by what he just learns, slowly begins to let his past demons come back but could Jordan in fact be the next one to become possessed?

In 2018, Jason and Heather DeVan really proved themselves with the film Along Came the Devil, a 21st-century take of The Exorcist but with the notion of being amped up in terms of what the devil brought to the table. For that film, Sydney Sweeney’s performance as the eventually possessed Ashley drove the film to actually make the Top 5 of World Film Geek’s Best of 2018. In some ways, a sequel was expected but at the same, the question would be, would there really be a sequel? Well, that was finally answered in April when the DeVans announced they would do a sequel and it was already in production. The end result? A sequel that has the rarity of being one that’s as good as its predecessor.

Shameless’s Laura Slade Wiggins replaces Kyla Deaver in the role of the now-adult Jordan, who returns home to find out what happened to her sister Ashley. Of course, those who saw the original film know exactly what happened. Jason and Heather DeVan crafted this sequel from Jordan’s point of view. There are even references to the original film when she meets with supporting characters from the original film to tell her what they witnessed and what they heard. It does help for the film for those who have a bit of interest in forgetting to see the 1st film.

Mark Ashworth makes for an interesting character in the role of estranged dad Mark, whose character only was relegated to the opening of the first film. Extending his character to a more prominent role where he is trying to make amends for his past mistakes, it is met with trepidation at times. However, Jordan does get along with her stepmom Karen, played by Tiffany Fallon; and stepbrother Xander, well played by perhaps the sequel’s breakout star, Cassius DeVan (the son of Jason and Heather). Xander brings a bit of mystery at times as it may be teased that he may be the next one to be possessed in certain scenes. That mystery of who is next really makes the film more worth seeing.

Returning from the original film, Bruce Davison plays Reverend Michael as now a completely broken man. The fact he was pretty much unable to drive the demon out of Ashley gives him the complete fear of seeing who will be next for the demon. It is soon revealed that he was unsuccessful in exorcising Jordan and Ashley’s mother Sarah, who is played in an excellently shot flashback by Heather DeVan herself. The effects of the film are amazingly done, resorting to practical effects and the third act shows not only who is the one to get possessed but the result of that possession as those who are not are in for the fight of their lives.

Along Came the Devil II builds the tension and emotion that just shows a sequel can be just as good as its predecessor if done right. The DeVans really have another hit on their hands especially with the film playing as a “who will be next” vibe and its jaw-dropping third act. Is it too late to say that I personally do want a Along Came the Devil III?

WFG RATING: A-

Gravitas Ventures presents a DeVan Clan Production. Director: Jason DeVan. Producers: Jason DeVan and Heather DeVan. Writers: Jason DeVan and Heather DeVan. Cinematography: Jay Ruggieri. Editing: Evan Ahlgren.

Cast: Laura Slade Wiggins, Bruce Davison, Mark Ashworth, Tiffany Fallon, Cassius DeVan, Heather DeVan, Ahmed Lucan, Viviana Chavez, Frank Brennan, Tristan DeVan, Natalie Saint-Martin, Marc Collins, Diesel Madkins.

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