The Last Exorcism Part II (dir. Ed Gass-Donnelly, 2013) – Nell Sweetzer tries to put her past behind, but the return of demon Abalam threatens to disrupt her new life.
The Last Exorcism Part II may possess an unwavering lead and a fun ending, but the unnecessary sequel idles on scares and originality.
From demonic possession to the final expulsion, most exorcism movies follow a foreseeable genre-established timeline. A central shuddering performance like Linda Blair’s is what makes the classics tick. The Last Exorcism succeeds in escaping several clichés, but it was Ashley Bell’s feature debut that sends the chills with her unnerving violent contortions.
The sequel abandons the found footage format and opts for a linear third-person narrative. Nell (Bell) tries to fall back into normalcy after her harrowing ordeal in the woods. She meets hotel worker Chris (Spencer Treat Clark) and falls in love, but soon finds that she might be putting him in fatal danger.
Although Bell maintains her strong performance, it was not enough to sustain the scares this time. A lengthy introduction attempts to build suspense solely upon her growing instability – to little avail. This ends up being nothing more than a filler sans purpose.
Granted the inundated genre does not allow for much surprises. A weak script still wastes its chances to liven the story up and leaves little ambiguity to the reality behind the hauntings. The demon Abalam begins to manifest in cheap scare tactics assisted with unrealistic computer-generated graphics, while her impressive contortions are kept close to zilch.
Low expectations may mitigate disappointment, and there lies salvation in its havoc-raising finale. The Carrie-esque rampage manages to break the nagging monotony. For what it’s worth, I thought it was at least quite a bit of fun.
Besides, even if you hated the film in its entirety, look on the bright side. The ending this time truly defines the title, leaving almost (never say never) no chance for a third coming.