It’s common knowledge that the vast bulk of sequels rarely match the heights of their predecessor – especially in the world of horror cinema.

But few sequels can have had the nosedive in quality and entertainment that is put forward by The Last Exorcism Part II.

I’ll happily admit that the original ‘Exorcism’ was one of my favourite horror flicks of recent years, until the whole thing went from restrained and teasing to over-the-top and stupid in the closing minutes.

Sadly though there is nothing restrained or teasing about this follow-up, a cumbersome, oh-so obvious gathering of clattering sound-effects, silly plot developments and heavy-handed storytelling that will have fans wondering just how essentially the same group of movie makers can come up with something so vastly inferior.

It must be said that the man in the director’s hotseat has changed this time around, Ed Gass-Donnelly replacing Daniel Stamm, but Eli Roth is still there, overseeing the whole thing as producer.

Ashley Bell also returns as central character Nell Sweetzer, struggling against the tide as she turns in a credible display.

But Bell is truly let down by a hackneyed script, poor direction and a laughable conclusion.

This second instalment picks up pretty much where the 2010 original left off, with Nell being carted off for evaluation after the fiery antics at that film’s conclusion.

Before long though Nell is returned to society, residing at a half-way house for wayward girls overseen by Frank Merle (played by I Know What You Did Last Summer villain Muse Watson).

She gets a job, starts a budding relationship with a local boy and even seems to be enjoying herself.

Fat chance of that staying the case for long though, with Nell slowly becoming convinced (with good reason) that she is being tracked by the demon Abalam, who played havoc with her and her family in the first outing.

We then get cult members being thrown in to the mix and eventually move to some bloodshed to finish, along with some laughable closing moments.

Watching The Last Exorcism Part II at home, it is advised that you have the remote handy as I cannot remember the last film I sat through that had such sharp veers in volume.

A lot of that is down to director Gass-Donnelly’s obsession with what he obviously thought were jarring shock moments – I lost count of the exact number of times we have to feign shock as a character appears from nowhere (complete with crashing soundtrack jar), or an animal appears from nowhere, but I do remember that the whole thing bloody pissed me off well before the half-way mark.

Bell apart, the acting leaves a lot to be desired, with most of the cast seemingly happy just to be appearing on screen.

I honestly can’t think of any reason to recommend this film as, just when you think things are forgettable enough, the arrival of a bunch of exorcists take things into true loony territory.

This disc is supposedly one of those ‘extreme’ editions that pads out the running time with footage ‘too harsh’ to make the cinema cut, but I honestly can’t be bothered to work out just what was added.

A colossal waste of time, and a real slap in the face to anyone that expected this sequel to at-least match the original, The Last Exorcism Part II is best avoided.

EXTRAS: To be fair, you get a lot – from interviews, to making ofs and trailers

VERDICT: [rating=2]

 

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.