ALONG CAME THE DEVIL 2 takes all of the elements of the first film, shoots them full of steroids, and gives them a knife and an energy drink. We got to talk with Jason DeVan and Heather DeVan, the power couple behind the franchise, about the process of raising the bar for possession movies.
ALONG CAME THE DEVIL 2 raises the stakes and an entire town becomes possessed. Since exorcism films usually take place on a one-on-one basis, was it difficult to maintain tension while doing it on such a macro scale?
Jason DeVan: Yes and no. We learned a lot from part one, and we knew we wanted to raise the stakes and go bigger on part two. We were on such a tight time constraint that we were actually more prepared for part two than we were for part one.
The first ALONG CAME THE DEVIL had such a bananas ending. Did you feel pressure to recreate that on part two, or did it just come naturally during the writing process?
Jason DeVan: It was very natural. Things were so smooth on part two, because we knew that we wanted to answer some of the questions that the fans had from part one, whether you loved or hated the film, and we wanted to address everybody’s opinions and thoughts, and also take it in a different direction.
Did any weird devil stuff happen on set to either of you?
Heather DeVan: You know, it’s funny you ask that. The house that we filmed in was built in 1901, and I don’t know if you’re familiar with the South, but Waffle House is really big here, and the house was originally owned by the founder of Waffle House. So it has such a cool history to it.
Jason DeVan: And it used to be a brothel.
Heather DeVan: And it was a brothel at one point! And there was a bathroom in the house that everybody swore was haunted, and everybody hated using it because the lights would go on and off by themselves. But other than that, that was it.
Jason DeVan: But Ryan, I really think it was a light sensor. (both laugh)
Heather DeVan: I think we all wanted it to be a light sensor.
Heather, with you reprising your role as Sarah, does being an actor fulfill different creative needs for you than writing and producing? How does that experience differ for you?
Heather DeVan: Well, it’s two different hats. I love them both equally. Being a producer on the film and having that creative outlook and being part of it that way, your whole heart and mind is involved, and when you’re an actor, you come in and do your work and then leave. And Jason is really great when I’m on-set as an actress. He’s like “I want you to focus on being an actress today instead of producing,” so he helps me get into that mindset. And the makeup is the funnest part, to be honest.
Is the makeup process pretty gnarly?
Heather DeVan: Yeah! The wig piece alone took George [Troester, special effects makeup artist] two weeks of eight-hour days to create that wig because it’s real hair sewn in. And the makeup and prosthetics were made for my bone structure to make my face look sunken and scary.
Jason DeVan: But she never complained once! No matter how long she had to be in the makeup.
Heather DeVan: You get to transform yourself into something that you need to watch.
How do you think the process of collaboration informs the way that these movies are made? How is it different than if either of you had done it by yourself?
Jason DeVan: We work really well together. I love the fact that I’m able to bounce ideas off of Heather and she’ll tell me if they’re good or bad. We can both tell, when we’re reading something, whether a man or a woman wrote it, and who wrote what. So we get to have that touch of both a man and a woman writing a script.
Heather: And we’re really honest with each other, which helps a lot.
Which is a better movie: THE EXORCIST or THE AMITYVILLE HORROR?
Jason DeVan and Heather DeVan, in unison: THE EXORCIST.
Jason DeVan: Did we answer that too fast? (laughs)
Heather DeVan: Don’t get me wrong, I love THE AMITYVILLE HORROR.
Jason DeVan: But I think THE EXORCIST took everything to a whole other level of shock for that time period.
Heather DeVan: There were people passing out in the theater and throwing up! And the creators weren’t afraid to shock people, and it changed the world.
ALONG CAME THE DEVIL 2 is now available on VOD and digital. Thank you to Heather and Jason for sitting down with us. Check them out on Twitter at @DeVanClan, and check out Rank & Vile at @rankandvilecast.