The Witch 2: The Other One (also known as The Witch: Part 2. The Other One) playing at Fantasia Festival, expands on the story in the first film and adds more of the fight sequences that shocked viewers. Written and directed by Park Hoon-jung the film adds a new overpowered girl to the mix. But the girl (Shin Sia) does not need her hands to deliver a beatdown that her opponent’s ancestors feel. Adding onto the story that riveted audiences with more comedy, booming action, and world expansion, The Witch 2: The Other One surpasses the first film in many ways.
The first film, The Witch: Part One. The Subversion, gave us Ja-yoon (Kim Da-Mi) and the group experimenting on kids to provide them with supernatural powers. Ja-yoon escaped but then needed the organization to find her so she could receive the drug to stop headaches and nosebleeds. By the end, Ja-yoon, now able to use her abilities unhindered, massacred the group. Then she visited the paralyzed twin (or clone) of Dr. Baek.
To-Woos Do Not Trifle With This Girl
Now there is another girl, and this one is deadlier than Ja-yoon. The story is less focused because there are more players in The Witch 2: The Other One. The lack of focus would be frustrating if the characters were not so damn entertaining. The To-Woos massacred everyone in the facility, the Ark, and left the girl for dead. They are on the hunt to find her, and this group of killers care for no one. They bully and threaten each other plus any person in their way. Unfortunately, thanks to them, the girl is alive and out of the facility so they are out to rectify that.
She wanders outside when a group of random men grab her and plan to kill her to cover up they kidnapped Kyung-Hee (Park Eun-bin). Little do they know, they have held the wrong teen, and chaos ensues. After that, Kyung-Hee offers to take in the girl even though she has her own problems. Those men that snatched her are her uncle’s hired thugs, sent to force her to sell the home and land her father left to her and her brother Dae-gil (Sung Yoo-bin). Ain’t family grand?
Great Pairing But Stop With The Words
There is the military-garbed duo, agent Jo Hyun (Seo Eun-soo), and her partner (Justin John Harvey). They remind me of Roy Mustang’s comments about deadly beings with unique abilities. I enjoyed their banter, switching from English to Korean since it felt familiar, like watching friends switch between English and Spanish.
The use of a phrase took me out of the entertainment briefly, and I hope that Park Hoon-jung does not use outdated, offensive words going forward. The story is gripping, the action mesmerizing, but there is no reason to continue using disrespectful language that throws a marginalized demographic under the bus. This story is and should be better, and that language detracts from the film.
Acting Is Just As Good
Shin Sia’s acting as her character comes out of her shell is terrific. Her relationship with Dae-gil is so sweet, and her obsession with food is adorable and unsurprising. I am sure the food she ate at the facility was not tasty. I am always a fan of lethal but also humorous characters. Strength does not equal stoicism, and The Witch 2: The Other One showcases this. People underestimate Kyung-Hee’s uncle due to his comedic air, and compared to the other superpowered humans; he does not appear as dangerous. They toe the line between funny and creepy.
Bigger Battles and Stakes
The action sequences are wild, and while the effects are not stunning, combined with its predecessor, the film opens up the world a bit more. The Witch 2: The Other One is more violent and bloody, but the first film’s fight (if you’ve seen it, you know the battle I’m talking about) is still my favorite. Because it is a challenge to top the first film in a series, plus how power translates into combat, Ja-yoon fought hand-to-hand for most of the first movie. However, this girl does not need to resort to fisticuffs. Without better effects, grander fights might fall flat. I hope they focus on hand-to-hand combat as poor visual effects may pull audiences out of the world.
While the story moves between many characters, each person has a distinct personality, and The Witch 2: The Other One expands on the world where the girl and Ja-yoon reside. They cranked this up to eleven. Audiences will love the bloody escapades of the new girl and wonder who, if it came down to a fight, would win between her and Ja-yoon.