Movie Review: May the Devil Take You Too

November 3, 2020

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at [email protected] He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

Fasten your seat belts and keep your arms inside the vehicle at all times for May the Devil Take You Too, the practically nonstop assault on the senses that is writer/director Timo Tjahjanto’s sequel to his 2018 May the Devil Take You. That first installment in the series was a wild, intense, grue-soaked ride of occult horror á la The Evil Dead, and this sequel doesn’t lose any momentum.

The film kicks off with two friends, Gadis (Widika Sidmore) and her friend Dewi (Aurélie Moeremans) going through a supernatural encounter that will prove fatal for Dewi. It then cuts to Alfie (Chelsea Islan) and her young stepsister Nara (Hadijah Shahab), survivors of a battle with the devil from the first film. They are kidnapped by a group of masked home invaders and taken to an abandoned orphanage. 

The kidnappers turn out to be a group of young adults who were raised at the orphanage: Gadis, Jenar (Shareefa Danish), Budi (Bhaskara Mahendra), Leo (Arya Vasco), Kristi (Lutesha), and Martha (Karina Salim). All of them were all abused by the devil-worshipping Ayub (Tri Hariono) while growing up at the orphanage. They killed him when they were still children, but he haunts them still. Their reason for bringing Alfie and Nara to the abandoned, dilapidated orphanage is that they believe Alfie can defeat the evil that is haunting them through the use of a diabolical bible.

May the Devil Take You Too serves up bloodletting and goo-spilling of all sorts, from face peeling and demon regurgitating to circular saw blades whizzing through a basement and much more — but I don’t want to spoil all the insane fun. The practical gore effects and makeup work are incredible and plentiful. At a running time of 110 minutes, it may seem like the proceedings go into overkill territory, but time flies by as quickly as those aforementioned saw blades. 

The looniness and tension rarely let up once they start, and Tjahjanto manages to balance all of the frenetic insanity, outrageous humor, and nail-biting suspense expertly. His young cast give it their all in their frantic and often physical performances, with fitting scenery chewing and histrionics aplenty. Islan is outstanding as Alfie, gnashing, screaming, shouting, and wild-eyed staring her way through a brilliant horror-heroine performance. 

If you are already familiar with May the Devil Take You, you have an idea of what to expect here: Deadite-like demons threatening to kick ass and take souls, and making good on those menacing warnings, with plenty of homage to The Evil Dead. This sequel ups the ante by adding some Evil Dead II lunacy and It terror-from-childhood to the grue stew. May the Devil Take You Too may wear its influences on its bloody sleeve, but Tjahjanto adds enough originality to the gory-goings on to make the film feel fresh and original.

May the Devil Take You Too is a Shudder exclusive and is currently available on that platform. It was also presented by Shudder as part of Nightstream Film Festival, which ran from October 8–11.

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