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Review May the Devil Take You a.k.a. a.k.a. Sebelum Iblis Menjemput (2018) : The Indonesian Evil Dead?

genre: horror, mystery, thriller

It is claimed that the sequel to May the Devil Take You is better than the original. Now, after having watched it, I beg to differ. While this film also goes over the top often than not, the film remains to be built on tension, dread and creepiness.

Mind you, not always scary or terrifying, but more than once I found events to be super unsettling. Within the first seven minutes, you will be exposed to what can only be described as the devil's work. But if you thought you had seen it all, guess again. Writer / Director Timo Tjahjanto is constantly pushing unnerving and nasty events on you, where on occasion you will be glad the film gives you a break or two. In this regard, it can be called similar to The Evil Dead, but at the same time also points out the flawed take on this classic. The Evil Dead struck an almost perfect balance between comic relief and dread. May the Devil Take you is full on serious the entire time. And that is a big mistake. Because at certain times I did lose interest a little and also think that the film is far too long-winded for its own good. It easily could have scraped off twenty minutes, and it wouldn't have changed a thing. The film repeats itself too often, and it detracts from the terror. 

That being said, the film is filled with intense and super creative sequences where the practical effects are incredibly impressive. One scene in particular is very memorable and very likely a moment I will never ever forget. So visually speaking the film is great, narrative wise it's effective. The acting though is bad sometimes. Especially on the side of the mother and children who are married into the family. They are your stereotypical stepfamily who you can't possibly love. The film would have benefitted from those people being nicer and friendlier. Especially if they start to act stupid and unreasonable. Thankfully, some of the actors managed to downplay the theatrics and sold us the terror since let's face it, that is what the audience wants.

Overall, this film is one that definitely is better than the IDMB rating implies. And like I said, I completely disagree that the sequel is better. This original is superior. 

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