26 September 2012 | Cujo108
A different take on the story
Direct-to-video sequel is actually more of a re-adaptation of Stephen King's original story. Michael Gross plays a psychiatrist who goes back to his hometown following his mother's death. Accompanying him is his teenage daughter, Michelle (a young Hilary Swank). Gross soon realizes that they're being targeted by the men who sacrificed his sister in a satanic ritual 27 years earlier, only they're no longer human.
In some ways, this is better than the first film. For one, it features an overall darker tone. It doesn't get all sappy either, and the idea to have the gang return as demons instead of ghosts works well, also tying into a ritual from the original story that the first adaptation omitted. I preferred the father/daughter dynamic over the family one, and the addition of side characters, Maria and Jules, was certainly welcome.
On the other hand, even as demons, Alexis Arquette and company didn't come off quite as menacing as the gang from the previous flick. I think that had to do with some lame one-liners. There's also the fact that I recognized one of the gang, Glen Beaudin, from the silly 90's TV series, "Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad", so it's hard to take him too seriously as a threat. The priest character is way over the top as well, and the annoying lawnmower idiot couldn't get off my screen fast enough.
Still, this is a fun take on the King tale, and we get some interesting imagery such as death by flying tarot cards and Swank getting it on with a demonized Arquette. It's far from great, but it makes a nice companion to the first, as both have their qualities and misfires.