If you’ve never gotten the chance to check out the 1996 horror film, The Dentist, you may want to hold off on checking this review out. On the other hand, the sequel to the aforementioned film which we’re about to speak about is pure garbage in comparison, that you may want to stick around in order to save yourself the trouble of watching it.
Following the events of “The Dentist”, Dr. Alan Feinstone makes a daring escape from the insane asylum he’s being treated in. Knowing full well that something would eventually go haywire in his life, Feinstone secretly set up a life for himself in a little town called Paradise under the guise of a retired Dental professional known as Dr. Caine. Following a few events, Alan resentfully takes charge of the local dental practice where he begins to lose control of himself and his emotions all over again.
In the original film, Alan had a few factors that were pushing him closer and closer to the brink of sanity. One being the constant harassment of the IRS, and the other being that his wife has been unfaithful to him. With everything building up, the good doctor had endured enough and began a killing and torture spree.
The sequel, however, depicts Alan as someone who knew this insanity was coming, setting everything up as though he knew that he would have to make an escape at one point and set up various bank deposits under false identities throughout the country. Nothing in the original would point to this as he was a failing dentist. Although he was great at what he did, he couldn’t come to grips with his crippling debt.
This, at least to me, makes me believe that Alan wouldn’t have been able to set up multiple accounts across the country, let alone plan out how he would find and use all these various identities.
But, enough about why this isn’t plausible, let’s talk about what takes place.
Once, Alan settles into town, he begins to take a fancy to his new landlord, Jamie. She is the strong female who doesn’t need a man and can back it up without question. But this doesn’t slow Alan down from trying to pursue her multiple times throughout the film, even successfully taking her out on a few occasions.
As work in his new practice begins to garner more attention, Alan begins to panic. His insane visions continue to haunt him, causing him to see things that aren’t there including cockroaches in one of his patients' mouths and his would-be girlfriend/landlord, Jamie, getting railed by an old friend of hers which causes yet another deeper fall into madness.
The acting from Bernstein was fairly decent for most of the film, but once you get into the scenes where he’s going into denial about who he is or where he’s from, he seems completely broken. I’m sure that is what the script called for but, the waste of a character who is supposed to clearly be a master manipulator is hard to watch. The man breaks down like a child who was just caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Next, to this piece of poor performance, Bernstein is still the top performer in this flick with none other than Clint Howard coming in at a close second as he always does.
Musically, the score was mixed with the original films use of classical with a twist of country music due to the hicktown Alan was now living in. It wasn’t horrible, but as a fan of both classical music and the occasional country song, I found it very difficult to listen to both genres go back and forth.
With body horror which is primarily concerning the human mouth in a dental setting, the options are slightly limited for what you can do in order to shock or amaze your viewers. The use of large scale special effects mouths gave the creators the ability to go a little overboard with what Alan would see in his patients' mouths. Fitting, seeing as a man who is losing his grip on reality could envision anything and everything within the confines of a patient's mouth along with any other surroundings he may be located around.
The big tanking moment of the film is the ending. I'm not going to spoil it for you as it's both rewarding and frustrating at the same time thanks to an homage played out towards a well-known horror character and for the visibly rushed ending they attempted to pull off which left me highly disappointed.
Overall, as far as entertainment value goes, The Dentist II is able to grasp your attention and may be better enjoyed on its own, without having seen the first film. If you're looking to take in the series, prepare yourself to become bored with the same tricks and stunts being repeated in the sequel with a far less satisfying conclusion taking place.
3 out of 10
Have you listened to our HORROR Podcast? This week on Beyond The Void Horror Podcast . This week we drank the Kool-aid and went down the rabbit hole of Ari Asters Midsommar (2019). Alex pays a visit to the set of the village? Really? We review the movie spoiler free + afterwards we discuss our spoiler theories & ending explained. Listen/Subscribe on iTunes here!