The Skulls II
|The Skulls II|
|Directed by||Joe Chappelle|
|Produced by||Neal H. Moritz
|Written by||Hans Rodionoff
|Music by||Christophe Beck|
|Edited by||Stephen Lawrence|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
The Skulls II is the 2002 American thriller film, sequel to the Skulls and was released direct-to-video. It is directed by Joe Chappelle and it stars Robin Dunne, Ashley Cafagna-Tesoro, Nathan West, Lindy Booth and James Gallenders.
Picking up several years after the first film, Ryan Sommers (Robin Dunne) is a student at an unnamed university, believed to be Yale University by the sports teams logo and various New Haven, Connecticut, imagery seen throughout the film. He and lacrosse teammate, Jeff, are tapped for the elite "Skulls" society. Despite his friend Jeff's zeal for being tapped, Ryan is ambivalent toward admission into the Skulls seeing it as a form of control from his older brother, Greg (who is a member), and its distraction from his beautiful, socialite girlfriend, Ali (Ashley Cafagna-Tesoro).
Soon after being tapped, Ryan (having received inside information from his older brother Greg) stages an accident during one of the Skulls' secret initiation rituals by faking that he has been accidentally stabbed, only to reveal that it was a sophomoric joke. Not amused, the senior leadership led by Parker Neal (Nathan West) decide to punish Ryan and Jeff by making them clean the attic of the Skulls tomb. While cleaning the attic that night, both Ryan and Jeff hear someone on the roof, only to discover it is fellow Skulls member, Matt "Hutch" Hutchison and field hockey team captain, Diana Rollins. While peeping on Hutchison and Rollins as she begins to disrobe, Ryan notices her drinking from a flask that Hutchison gave her. Soon thereafter, she starts to become dizzy and then falls off the roof of the Skulls tomb. Trying to alert the other members in the tomb, Ryan is told that nothing is wrong and he must have been seeing things.
Ryan later goes to his brother Greg about the incident, believing that the Skulls have covered up Diana Rollins' death. Greg agrees to give Ryan a key to the tomb, so that he can investigate further, but this later turns out to be a ploy in order to lure Ryan there. Ryan is told the supposed truth about what was really taking place. He is fed a story by Parker Neal that, due to Ryan's sophomoric joke during the initiation ritual, the Skulls staged Diana Rollins falling off the roof as they had staged (years earlier) the death of a former member's roommate when he too was not taking membership seriously. This was all a test to see if Ryan would remain loyal to the Order by not going to the authorities. The former member's roommate story is a direct reference to the first film and the death of Will Beckford, Lucas McNamara's roommate. Not convinced by this ruse, Ryan begins to do research, and later discovers from Beckford's parents that their son was killed by the Skulls for doing an expose on the secret society and breaking into the tomb; this was the storyline from the first film.
That evening, Ryan receives a phone call from his brother Greg that Diana Rollins was killed in a car accident while returning from a supposed ski trip in New Hampshire. At this point, Ryan knows the entire scandal has been a cover-up to protect Matt Hutchison and the Skulls from public humiliation. Due to his digging around, the Skulls turn Ryan's life into chaos. His brother Greg is fired from his high-level position as an attorney at Skull member Winston Taft's firm, Ryan's girlfriend Ali accuses him of assaulting her, and he is pursued by the Skulls at every avenue. Through his friendship with Ali's roommate, Kelly (Lindy Booth), he later discovers that his apartment is bugged, and the Skulls will stop at nothing to cover up Diana Rollins' accidental death, even attempting to run him and Kelly down in the streets of New Haven.
Ryan and Kelly believe that the only true way to expose the Skulls is by getting their hands on the coroner's report, showing that Diana Rollins did indeed have drugs and alcohol in her system, and that she had been dead for days, not hours. Ryan's brother, Greg, uses his acquaintance, county coroner Dr. Phillip Sprague, to gain inside information — Sprague was offered a prostitute by the Skulls to switch the coroner's reports. Later, breaking into Sprague's office, Ryan steals the real report and goes to the police. In the meantime, Jeff has already come forward stating the Skulls covered up Diana Rollins' death and that Matt Hutchison was responsible. Hutchison is taken into custody; Parker Neal narrowly escaping arrest himself.
Back at the Skulls tomb, Skulls chairman senator George Milford states that shame and disgrace has been brought to the Order by this scandal. Believing that Ryan will be expelled from the Order, Parker egotistically states that he believes casting out Ryan is a smart move, only to discover that he is the one being expelled. Parker is seized by members of the Order and his brand of membership is removed from his wrist as he screams out in pain. Ryan casts himself out of the Order. The final scene show he and Kelly kissing in her car as they begin a new life together.