The Last Exorcism Part II Movie Review
In Hollywood, nothing is sacred, not even the word "last." The Last Exorcism Part II, an unnecessary sequel to a movie that never begged for a sequel in the first place, is now on DVD and Blu-ray and it is everything you'd expect to be: unimaginative, unoriginal and ultimately pointless.
That's not to say the original Last Exorcism was a disaster. While far from perfect, the movie presented a rare clever spin on the exorcism genre by focusing on a man who roamed around the country performing fake exorcisms for money, which worked until he ran into the real thing. The out-of-left-field ending was, well, out of left field (and likely the reason why Part II exists in the first place. Oh, and the $68 million worldwide gross against a budget of $2 million), but the movie overall was surprisingly fun.
The Last Exorcism Part II isn't fun. It's a drab, hollow film that does away with the found footage style used in the first movie to focus on Nell (Ashley Bell), who was last seen giving birth to a demon but is now in a foster home, hoping against hope that her past doesn't come back to haunt her. Naturally, she begins to see and hear things that suggest she is either insane or still possessed by a creature of evil.
There are two main problems with The Last Exorcism Part II. The first is that Nell isn't an interesting protagonist. Sure, she has an innocent charm about her, but you know that her odds of escaping her curse are slim to none. The first one had more compelling characters you cared for; in Part II, forgettable Nell is surrounded by even more forgettable supporting cast members.
Second, director Ed Gass-Donnelly has taken what was an original concept and turned it into a generic exorcism movie, albeit without many of the elements that make an exorcism movie so good. He relies on cheap flashbacks and hallucinations for scares, and does little to build a sense of tension. There are just very few reasons to watch The Last Exorcism Part II.
One of those rare reasons is the final two minutes of the film, however, which, like its predecessor, is out of left field. But this time around, the ending makes sense and adds a jolt of creativity to the production. Had the entire movie been filled with as much cleverness and silliness, The Last Exorcism Part II could have been redeemable.
But as is, let's truly hope this is the last Last Exorcism.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.