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Michael Taylor Pritt
Michael Taylor Pritt,
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Leroy E. Bryant II,
Elijah C. Richardson Jr.
Enjoyable enough if somewhat overlong and dull follow-up
A hundred years after the mysterious events at the house, a cultural relic restorer arrives at the scene to investigate the strange claims and becomes ensconced in the same supernatural phenomenon that plagued the first residents and tries to uncover the events of the past to save himself.
For the most part, this is quite the fun sequel. Much like the original, the film works it's best when delving deep into the supernatural which is quite prominent throughout here. The advent of curses allows for the vomiting of worms and maggots other such creatures just by being near the building is quite nice, while the flashcut images of skeleton faces or falling limbs grazing characters here provide a solid backdrop to the rest of the material at play. Once inside the sprawling Gothic-styled manner, the opulence and overall design of the house allows for the supernatural setups to feel quite at home. Set amid the endless corridors, elaborate designs of the rooms and the various decorations within, scenes featuring the sudden appearance of blood spilling from book pages, light-bulbs crashing and exploding or insect swarms to suddenly appear and chase them around the house make sense. The manner in which this drives a more psychologically-charged storyline that drives her to madness the more she's around the house adds a rather strong secondary aspect to the creepiness of the film. By tackling the issue of her guilt over the loss of her daughter and then adding on the scenes of the ghost daughter running through the house, this triggers many of the supernatural tie-ins later in the film from the few dreams she has trying to reach the ghost before the house crumbles around her, having the children's toys trigger various other confrontations between the two of them or even cause her to believe in the affair storyline really brings about a pretty creepy storyline. Most of this is also apparent in the finale where it overloads the supernatural elements into a much more prominent aspect and really offers some of the best effects work with the various ghostly beings shown. These here are what hold it up over its main flaws which are pretty prominent. The main issue to contend with is the storyline that's far busier than it needs to be. The film works best dealing with the connection between them being in the house and how the events of the past are influencing their actions which could've made for an intriguing storyline going back-and-forth in time. However, adding in the storyline about the perceived adultery and the potential employee trying to steal her away don't really need to be included in the film. Rather, they cause the film to drag the pace down to such a degree that it feels stagnant and dull for long stretches detailing all these potential segments. As well, they also cause the storyline involving the devious sorcerer to feel underdeveloped and misses out on the potential for some creepy imagery showing how he goes about his craft that is missing in the finished product that could've added more creepiness to the film. It ends up lowering this one enough to keep it down.
Rated Unrated/R: Violence and Language.
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