Daniel’s review published on Letterboxd:
We were warned. It has been lurking on the radar for years. Part of me is still holding a curiosity. Even when the original wasn't all for me. From the world to the mystery: the possibilities were endless but this was painful.
Let me make a confession. When it comes to completing franchises. It is a bumpy ride. There was always a plan to see this directly after the first a few years ago; but that blew up and having seen this now: I don't regret.
One of the elements that had me invested in this world was the mystery. Never really liked the original as said before; but the sense of unknowing and waking up in this place was a blast. I was hoping this'd expand on it.
Not only does this reveal far too much: but it takes away from those parts in the first that helped in having it become a classic for many people. We are told things we don't need to know; or at least not what I wish to know.
Pretty rough in the performances. Nothing great was expected. But the acting in this at times is brutal. And it doesn't help when you have lines that sound like they were generated by a computer rather than written.
There is next to nothing happening in this. Not like with the creativity of each room in the first. We mostly have a bunch of people yelling at each other the whole time; with all the anticipated fun aspects sucked all out.
What that then leads to is an extremely boring and lacklustre sequel. The original wasn't even anything too special. Just that this one now existing has the predecessor on the level of winning a few awards or something.
If anything they did ramp up that cosmic horror and unsettling vibe. It is a little stronger than ever. And I loved that and the sense of this unknown threat approaching: Just wish it wasn't ruined by really everything else.
This might only be me because it has been a few years. But for a sequel with a bigger budget than the original: Why did all the visuals seem a lot more dated? And there wasn't many times that required much in effects.
For someone that did not care for the first. It still felt like a mistake to do a swap in directors. So much seemed focus on trying to top the first one that it forgot about even being a good film for starters and fell apart fast.
Let me hope this can be the first in many sequels to come in franchises to be completed. Or we could be waiting another three to five years to see the next. One way to find out but hopefully none are on this level.