The Last Exorcism Part II – Film Review
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TL;DR Thanks for staying. So not only does The Last Exorcism Part II drop what made the first one the least bit interesting (found footage/handheld camera), but it’s also a bland, empty shell. There is nothing exciting, original, or suspenseful. At least they got the original actress back. 1 out of 5 stars.
Did we learn nothing from Blair Witch 2?
The plot picks up after the events of the first one. Nell has made it out of her hometown/cult and is put into a housing facility in New Orleans. The demon isn’t done with her, though. Unimpressive creepiness ensues. Nell tries to have a voodoo exorcism (because New Orleans, remember?), but twist, it doesn’t go well and the demon offers Nell the chance to survive if she lets it in and she does and then she goes on a murderous rampage and that’s it.
So you might enjoy the last 3 minutes, you know?
It’s not hard to pinpoint The Last Exorcism Part II’s greatest flaw: it’s fuckin’ boring. Literally everything is just padding in a lead-up to the otherwise decent conclusion. We know the demon is real (because of the first movie), so there’s no suspense in the “is it or isn’t it actually happening” stuff.
There’s no conflict. It’s simply “Nell is scared of demon. Demon grows incrementally more active. End.”
Why I hate this movie:
The first one had the advantage of the real/not real dilemma, which was played to great effect. It also had the handheld style, which at the time, had not yet been fucked into the ground by the stream of Paranormal Activity sequels. This movie has neither of those things.
The only mildly interesting character apart from Nell is the black voodoo chick. But her role is limited to “black” and “voodoo,” so that’s disappointing.
It’s also weird that her “order” of fellow voodooists are trying to prevent the apocalypse, but the best A-Team of world heroes she can muster are just a couple of dudes and a chicken.
When the exorcism goes sour and they realise the only way to eradicate the demon is to kill Nell, they decide to do it through a slow morphine overdose. Which gives the demon just the time it needs to convince Nell to let it join her. Just snap Nell’s neck or some shit. You’re trying to prevent the end of the world. You don’t need to be delicate with some little girl’s feelings.
The apparitions of her father are tedious. One of them involves the ol’ see-him-across-the-street-then-he-disappears-behind-a-passing-car cliché. Are we so unsophisticated?
Nell’s love interest is forced to slit his own throat, but we get a fucking gory discretion shot instead of seeing it. So this piece of shit can’t even do gore right.
Oh, and none of the girls in the house Nell stays in are even close to engaging. Her blonde roommate, even when supposedly possessed by the demon, shows no personality. Make one of them a psycho bitch or something. This is a lousy horror sequel. Subtlety has no place within these walls.
Reasons to watch:
The ending is pretty badass, though. Nell lets the demon in and horribly murders the voodooists. She then returns to the house and kills the guy in charge, and sets fire to it, immolating all the other girls.
She does make a pit stop to steal a pair of boots Nell had admired earlier. Demon priorities. I like them.
Demon Nell then closes out the movie by driving down the street and using her demon powers to set things on fire, like people inside their cars while driving. And the fire truck that was on its way to the house. Oh, you.
And this ending is way better than the first one’s, which was some abrupt bullshit. One area of improvement is better than none.
The lead actress (Ashley Bell) does what she can to hold this flimsy, crumb-bum of a movie together. I’ll give her points for that.
Best line is when a guy spots Nell on the street and recognises her from a YouTube video of her mid-possession (which is footage from the first movie). Nell does a good angry voice: “Just fuck off!” The guy then goes into a seizure. I bet Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner wish they had that power.
During the exorcism, the voodooists write Croatoa on Nell. I don’t know why, but I do love me some unsolved mystery referencing.
Nell makes the smart choice to let the demon in and survive. And being evil is more fun anyway, right?
Oh, and Nell has a levitating sex dream. It looks nice.
But a sex dream and some CGI flame magic won’t save The Last Exorcism Part II from being an unambitious, unnecessary, and unmemorable horror sequel. It could have definitely used some (a lot) more blood. 1 out of 5 stars.