Art of the Devil 2
(Long khong) (2005)
Directed by the Ronin Team

Artistic & Entertainment Value: * * *

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Six college aged friends who knew each other as teenagers take a vacation at the isolated home of the grandmother of one of their number. There, they recall how the sexy young wife of one of the men's father had an extramarital affair, which they exposed, and how they made sure that she was punished. Unfortunately, this woman has since learned black magic and is now determined to get revenge.

Art of the Devil 2, which was directed by the seven members of the Ronin Team, is an intermittently entertaining, reasonably successful horror film.


The first part of the movie, although absolutely essential to its plot, is, I am sad to say, a little slow going. The directors in these sequences not only reveal the personalties of their protagonists, but they also relate the events that are the cause of what happens in the movie's second half. The viewer is thus shown how one of the heroes' father is married to a young and beautiful teacher, who is committing adultery, how the youth and his friends try to expose her, how they are stopped by her lover, how he sexually abuses them, and how they ultimately resort to black magic to achieve their goal, with very serious consequences. While many of these occurrences are interesting, taken together they do get tiresome. I was a little bored at several points.

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That said, the later portions of Art of the Devil 2 are wildly gruesome and enthralling. The viewer is sure to be horrified by the events portrayed. He is, to give a few examples of these, shown how one woman is cooked and her corpse is fed to the others, how another young woman is driven to madness and self mutilation by being cursed with the ability to see ghosts, which, in the bloody place where she is, are everywhere, how a young man is tortured with a blowtorch (until the whole of his body is blackened and crisped, which allows his tormenter to scrape off his skin), and how swarms of spontaneously produced lizards tear out of another man's skin. The feelings of repugnance and of fear that the directors arouse are poignant.


Regrettably, the very final scenes of the movie, which present its surprise ending, are a little disappointing. They are not actually terrible, but they are, like most such endings, a little forced. They do not ruin the film, but they do not enhance its quality, either.


Whatever its faults, Art of the Devil 2 is worth watching. The movie does have some intense and entertaining portions.

Review by Keith Allen

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