The Witch: Part 2. The Other One is the sequel to Park Hoon-jung’s 2018 brutal sci-fi action horror, The Witch: Part 1. Subversion. In the original movie, Kim Da-mi plays Ja-yoon, a young mysterious girl who after escaping a research facility is adopted by a kind couple. But after an ill advised appearance on a Korean talent show, she is pursued by a shadowy organisation with malicious intent. However, all is not as it seems with Ja-yoon who harbours a deadly secret.
Rather than picking up where the first film left off, The Witch: Part 2. The Other One introduces us in similar fashion to a new character, The Girl (Shin Sia). She escapes from yet another shadowy facility, caked head to toe in gore, and finds herself taken in by kind-hearted stranger, Kyung Hee (Park Eun-bin), who takes her back to her farm. A family feud involving land rights and Kyung Hee’s gangster uncle escalates and invites the attention of dangerous super powered assassins.
The Witch: Part 1. Subversion was a genre bending mix of sci-fi, action and horror, but The Witch: Part 2. The Other One eschews that in favour of way more action and slapstick comedy and I don’t think this change adds anything to The Witch: Part 2. The Other One, in fact it makes it a weaker story.
Where in the first film there was mystery and a build up towards something shocking and frankly awesome, the second film goes full superhero movie fairly quickly and without finesse. Clearly the success of the first film has produced a higher budget and an expectation to expand the scope. In software engineering, it’s called feature creep and this movie is packed to the gills with it. In The Witch: Part 1. Subversion the supernatural elements were shown in limited glimpses, making it feel special and mysterious. The Witch: Part 2. The Other One has people flipping and flying all over the place like the worst parts of The Matrix movies.
Gone is the slow build of the first film, replaced by simplistic caricatures, crummy jokes and bland over-choreographed action scenes. The action scenes themselves are the most annoying part; zoomed in close, lots of quick cuts with low budget CGI. The amount of people that go flying out of shot at supersonic speed is hilarious. It’s cool maybe the first time, but the next 15,000 times… not so much.
There is an attempt to build up a relationship between The Girl, Kyung-Hee and her dorky brother Dae-gil (Sung Yu-been) which creates a few genuinely tender moments between these characters. But this is diluted by a story that is overstuffed with too many subplots and throwaway characters which makes it hard to follow the actual point of the film.
Also, if you are looking to see what happens to our characters in the first movie, be prepared for small revelations and big disappointment.
As a huge fan of the first film I really wanted to like The Witch: Part 2. The Other One, but it feels like it was directed by a focus group and corrupted to reach a wider audience. I still have hope for the franchise because of the director and as much as I complained The Witch: Part 2. The Other One is probably at it’s best when at it’s most stupid. Just turn your brain off and let the nonsense flow over you like the hot winds of death.
The Witch: Part 2. The Other One was released on November 28th