COMPANY: POP Films/MTV
RUNTIME: 84 mins
FORMAT: MoD DVD
PLOT: Skye Rotter is on the run, having fled the Roller Dome massacre from the end of the first movie. With nowhere left to turn, Skye heads to the quiet town of Mill Basin and the mother who abandoned her years ago. There, she meets her younger half-sister, Alex and Alex's manipulative best friend, Zoe. Skye hopes she's finally found safety in her new family, but she's about to learn she can't outrun her past. While her friends Brigg and Derek desperately try to locate her, Charlie Rotter comes to town with one bloody mission: to turn Skye's upcoming birthday into a Sweet 16 she'll never forget, turning a weekend rager into the savage setting for a Rotter family reunion.
REVIEW: After last night's viewing of the first My Super Psycho Sweet 16, I was pretty anxious to get home from work this evening so I could pop in My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 2 and watch the continuing reign of terror brought down upon Skye Rotter by her psychopathic over-protective father. I got home in out of the drenching rain that was pouring down outside, quickly showered, ordered a pizza, and away I went with My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 2, hoping for something even half as enjoyable as the surprisingly-good first movie had been.
In this one, Skye Rotter has left town, running away from home and away from her friends, ashamed of her actions at the end of the previous movie and as well as wanting to escape from her psychopathic father and go into hiding so he can never find her again, and she can live a life where people don't know her history. She tracks down her long-lost mother, who ran out on her and her father when Skye was just a baby, and she finds her living in a far-away town, in a large mansion located in very nice cushy expensive neighborhood, now re-married to quite the money-maker husband with a daughter of their own that's roughly Skye's age. They reluctantly take her in, though it seems only the husband has any real interest in doing so, and both Skye's mother and half-sister Alex seem resistant to the idea. All the while, Brigg and Derek (Skye's only friends from the first movie) take it upon themselves to ignore the message she had left for them about not trying to find her, and attempt to track her down anyway, eventually doing so, just as Skye's half-sister Alex begins to warm up to her and starts enjoying having a sister around (though her snobby stuck-up friends still dislike Skye pretty heavily). Upon finding out that it's Skye's 16th birthday, Alex invites her to a big party being held at an abandoned nightclub dubbed The Bone Yard. Of course, if Brigg and Derek are able to track Skye down then so can the infamous Charlie Rotter, Skye's murderous father who never did get apprehended at the end of the first movie. And thus, the terror starts all over again, culminating in a family reunion of epic proportions.
This follow-up certainly has a much-slower build then the first movie had, to the point where I almost want to go back and revise my review of that one, removing my comment about a slow pace in the first half an hour, because that movie moved at race car speed in comparison to this one. At least the first movie used its down time to properly establish all the characters and give them good characterization – this one doesn't do any of that with the new characters it brings in, with the exception of two. Hell, apart from Skye herself and her half-sister Alex, most of the characters in this movie are just completely unlikable with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Alex and her friends fill the 'Snobby rich girls' quota for this movie, which the first movie set with the Madison character and her friends. Luckily Alex is only a snob on the surface and the movie does a good job of delving further into her then that, showing that she really does feel out of place with those kinds of people and only acts like that, and does the things she does, to fit in with them and to feel like she belongs. While she dislikes Skye at first (upon her initial showing up out of the blue and dropping a huge bomb into Alex's otherwise normal teenage world), Alex does end up warming up to her and finds herself really enjoying having a sister around, allowing her guard to drop and showing her nice, more real, side to Skye, who openly accepts Alex for who she is far more then Alex's so-called 'friends'. There's also a minor sub-plot with Alex, where it goes into her having a history of these slight mental issues where she gets really angry and really emotional very easily, and thus she's on several kinds of anti-depressant medication and has to see a psychiatrist weekly. The other new character that the movie gives some decent characterization to would be Alex's best 'friend' (if she can be called that), named Zoe. Now Zoe is kind of the leader of that group of snobby stuck-up brats, and she's the one that is constantly making Alex feel like she has to do questionable things to fit in and be accepted. She's also the one who slyly discovers Skye's past (where Skye is trying to keep it a secret), and holds it over Skye's head as blackmail, to get her to do whatever Zoe wants her to do which ends up leading to a rather funny, albeit also intense, confrontation between the two. Other then these two characters though, the rest of the new characters are brushed over rather quickly and are nothing more then soulless cardboard cutouts of characters from the first movie, and are purely in the movie to be cannon fodder for the killer.
As for the returning characters, both Brigg and Derek have far less screen time then they did in the first movie, being regulated to spending 90% of their short time in the movie pining over Skye having ran away and disappeared, only to finally show up towards the end with one of them having next to no impact on really anything else that happens in the movie other then to just 'be there', while the other is used to follow in Scream 2's footsteps by unexpectedly killing off a returning survivor of the previous movie; I actually have to applaud that scene as I didn't see it coming at all, and I'm happy that the writers had the decency to give this character a really well-done 'last stand'. In addition, even though the other returning character didn't really do much, that scene made it quite clear that he could also be killed off at any time as well, and thus made the remaining scenes with him in them pretty suspenseful.
And then of course, there's Skye, having tracked her long-lost mother down and running to her for help, even though she herself hates her mother for running out on her. That disdain is added to even more once she sees the kind of life her mother seems to have been rewarded with for doing so, and Skye realizing this could have also been her life too if her mother hadn't left her behind with a psychopathic father. She doesn't have much time to spend thinking about that however, as she's too busy making nice with her new half-sister and trying to fit in with her friends and possibly create a life for herself here, where nobody knows who she is and what her history is (well, other then snoopy Zoe, but Skye puts her in her place before too long). I also really enjoyed the few times that this movie took how Skye ended things off in the previous movie and threw a couple red herrings out there to make it seem as if maybe this would be the movie where she finally snaps and follows in her father's footsteps. Suffice to say, red herrings were all those were, but it was still nice to see them take the time to build upon what had been established in the first movie, and it added a breath of mystery to this entry as it made it difficult to tell how things would turn out, especially knowing that these movies are not above throwing last-minute twists at you.
Which thus brings me to the final returning character, the man of the hour himself, the Lord of the Rink as he was referred to in news headlines – Charlie Rotter, the murderous overprotective father. Having also managed to track Skye down and realize where she's hiding out, he plans on killing her new family and taking herself and her mother back with him, so they can all be one reunited family....which then kind of begs the question as to why he goes around and kills all these totally unrelated-to-his-plot teens at the Bone Yard party, but hey, I'm willing to overlook that little plothole simply because a lack of a gruesome body count would make for a really lame teen slasher movie. Unfortunately, he doesn't really wear any sort of creepy costume in this movie, just his regular clothes. Sure, there are a couple kills where he retains that same clear plastic King mask, but he does so without the costume attire that he wore with it in the first movie, and even the mask itself is only worn a couple times; for the majority of the movie he kills with neither costume nor mask – just himself as-is. Though don't get me wrong, the actor plays 'crazy' very well (Jesus, those eyes...) so even without any sort of memorable get-up, he's still able to come across as scary and threatening, but it still would have been nice to see that medieval attire from the first movie return. Also dropped along with his previous costume is his taste in medieval weapons. Where the first movie had a nice range of unique death scenes via a different medieval weapon each time (plus more in some cases), this one he goes less inventive and simply uses a knife, and mostly just the knife (though there is one awesome scene where he uses an electric can-opener on the back of the head of a girl while she's busy making out with a guy).
Luckily the death scenes are still surprisingly gory for a made-for-TV movie, making up for any lack of imagination when it comes to the weapons themselves. One of the first kills of the movie happens off-screen with absolutely no blood to be seen, so that had me worried and thinking they were possibly going for a more toned-down route with the kills this time, but I'm happy to report that I was premature with those thoughts - once the killings really started kicking into high gear in the later part of the movie, there was no short supply of the gooey red stuff to go around. Hell, if anything this one may have been even more gruesome then the first, by just a smidgeon.
Just like the first movie, most of the acting here is all top-notch stuff, and way better then an MTV-made movie would be expected to have. Everyone returning from the first movie continues to turn in quality performances, with Lauren McKnight as Skye Rotter once again totally stealing the show with every scene she was in. The real surprise this time though was Stella Maeve as Zoe. Sure, her character was a total unlikable manipulative bitch, but she played the role to perfection, making it so even though I hated the character, I loved watching the actress portray her. Unfortunately, I didn't think that Kirsten Prout was quite up to snuff with everyone else in her portrayal of Alex. She came across as quite stiff and emotionless most of the time, and even when she was showing emotions it came across as quite fake and stilted – that is, until that final twist at the end.
Yes, much like the first movie this one throws a last-minute exciting twist which I also will not spoil here, but I will say that Kirsten Prout's acting in that scene was leagues better then anything else she turned in during this movie, and it has me really excited to see her return in the third and final entry of this trilogy, both in terms of the actress herself now that I know she's capable of giving us a better performance, as well as in terms of seeing where her character goes from here and how that will turn out for all involved.
Was My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 2 as good as the first? No, most certainly not. Did it at least meet my hopes of being, at the bare minimum, half as good as the first? Oh, for sure and then some. Despite the few detractors I mentioned throughout my review, the overall end product was still vastly enjoyable and a worthy follow-up to the amazing first movie. Those final couple of scenes alone was enough to make the time spent with this movie worth it, and with how things played out here it leaves off with the promise that the third and final movie will have to be a total game-changer, and I'm more then excited to find out how that will all play out and how things finally end off for these characters.
7/10 rooms in the Psych Ward