‘The Last Exorcism Part II’ Review

Published 2 years ago by , Updated November 18th, 2014 at 3:36 am,

The Last Exorcism Part II Reviews starring Ashley Bell The Last Exorcism Part II Review

The Last Exorcism Part II is a lackluster attempt to cash-in on a film that left just as many people angry as it did satisfied.

Skipping all the jokes about its paradoxical title, The Last Exorcism Part II picks up right on the heels of Part I, transporting us out of the confines of first-person handicam perspective, into a traditional third-person point of view. The morning after the baffling events at the Sweetzer farmhouse, a random couple wakes to find a feral Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell) inhabiting their kitchen.

Nell is taken to a shelter for troubled girls, and diagnosed as the delusional victim of cult abuse. Over the subsequent months, she seems to make good progress acclimating to an outside world she’s never known – until strange dreams turn into waking hallucinations, making Nell question whether her “delusions” were anything but. If the unthinkable is indeed real – and the demon Abalam still walks the Earth – Nell could be the key to mankind’s salvation… or its damnation.

The Last Exorcism Part II Nells Scream The Last Exorcism Part II Review

Last Exorcism Part II is a movie that was not at all needed and few wanted, so it should not come as a surprise that the result is a ridiculous sequel whose hackneyed plot and mundane direction undermine anything even remotely innovative or exciting about the original. And for those still arguing about whether or not the ending of the Last Exorcism was amazing or a total wreck: The sequel manages to end things on an even worse note.

Writing and directing duties for this followup were delegated (and I do mean “delegated”) to Ed Gass-Donnelly, a relatively unknown director whose film Small Town Murder Songs made some waves on the 2010 festival circuit. Aiding in the writing is newcomer Damien Chazelle; while the pair have some talent, their inexperience – combined with the shaky foundation this franchise already rested on – are pretty much the reason why Part II is an overall uninspired, unimpressive film.

The Last Exorcism Part II Abalam Church The Last Exorcism Part II Review

Things start off well enough, with the mystery surrounding Nell and her state of mind propelling things along and offering Gass-Donnelly the chance to create some solid sequences and scares. With nothing (and no one) cast in a light of certainty, there is a relative sense of menace hanging over each scene early on in the film.

However, by the time the narrative shifts into Act II, the script and the direction change focus, trying to play up some surreal vision of Nell’s paranormal frights – falling back into the now-defunct question of ‘is she crazy or not?’ From there the film melts down into a series of episodic and cliched scare sequences, with little narrative or logic holding them together. An attempt at a third act twist is bumbled so badly that ultimately the entire franchise mythos is left crushed under the weight of its own unearned resolution, plot holes and illogic. 

The Last Exorcism Part II Nell Abalam The Last Exorcism Part II Review

Ashley Bell in ‘The Last Exorcism Part II’

This is not to mention the many missed opportunities, dangling red herrings, and overall validation of what many people understood from the very beginning: there was never much of this story left to work with, and the filmmakers didn’t find any real way to scale that massive obstacle.

Ashley Bell gets to take the reigns this time as Nell – but her biggest selling point from the first film (her freakish contortions) are set aside in the sequel so that she can focus on some actual dramatic acting. To her credit, she proves herself to be more than just a gimmick – and thanks to a humorous meta-moment, Nell even gets some props for those star-making freak theatrics.

The Last Exorcism Part II Levitating Nell Ashley Bell The Last Exorcism Part II Review

Other fresh young faces help support the weight; Julia Garner (Martha Marcy May Marlene) steals many of the scenes she’s in as Nell’s friend, Gwen; Spencer Treat Clark (the little kid from Unbreakable) is less convincing as Chris, a love interest. Veteran character actors Muse Watson (Prison Break, NCIS), Tarra Riggs (Treme) and David Jensen (Battleship, Looper) bring actual character to their bit roles as Nell’s caretaker and two benevolent exorcists, respectively; however, in masochistic fashion the script makes sure to squander these interesting characters in the most trivial ways possible.

In the end, The Last Exorcism Part II is a lackluster attempt to cash-in on a film that left just as many people angry as it did satisfied. Peel back the layers of this onion and you’ll find you aren’t really even holding an onion in your hand – just a withered skin still shaped like one. I think I speak for many when I say: Let this truly be the last.

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The Last Exorcism Part II is now playing in theaters. It is 88 minutes long and is Rated PG-13 for horror violence, terror and brief language.

Our Rating:

1.5 out of 5
(Poor, A Few Good Parts)

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  1. wasn’t expecting much from this. hopefully it bombed in the box office. that way, we won’t have to deal with yet another cash grab attempt at a sequel

  2. I knew it. The first one was original. This one is just a mess.

  3. This movie is not good. As one who is probably more susceptible to jump scares than others, the first half of this movie had me pretty squirrely, but even those just had me irritated after a while (kind of like when someone keeps tickling you after you’ve had enough). And the whole voodoo cult crew….dear Lord. I wanna spoil it so bad, just so you won’t go see it.

  4. I really enjoyed the first one, especially the ending (yeah, no joke). I tought it was original and really creepy. But after reading critics for this sequel I guess I’ll just wait for the blu-ray release.

    Thanks for the review :)

    • Yeah, I enjoyed the ending to the first one too (my only question is how the hell did the tape get out?) but I’ll definitely pass on this.

  5. Can’t say I’m surprised. I still find it interesting that the guys in the first one would even bother with that whole rite. Satanists are fascinating like Cobra henchmen: why would you work for a boss who would waste you no matter how talented you are? I guess I’ll have to wait for another movie to examine that issue.

    • People do anything for power and despite the consequences, they’d still get involved if it satisfied their materialistic desires.

      It’s a human thing, if we can’t earn something through talent or hard work, we use any nefarious means to get it.

      Luckily some of us aren’t like that but it makes me wonder if there’s something to it considering the amount of talentless people getting attention in the world.

      • I guess they get what they deserve.

  6. This movie was AWFUL!!!!! Don’t go watch it. I am an avid horror movie buff and this was not only pathetic but it made me feel cheated! I want my money back!! This movie should have gone STRAIGHT to dvd and even that feels like a rip off! DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE!!! IT IS NOT SCARY AT ALL!!! THE ONLY THING SCARY WAS THE FACT THEY GOT PEOPLE TO GO TO IT!!! TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY!!!!

  7. It was so bad that I want it to cry! Please everybody! Do not waste your money not even renting the DVD! Save your money for something worth it! Oh lord! It was so bad!

  8. A Total Waste Of Money !!!!!
    I went tonight to watch this movie and i was almost sure it would be a great movie. However it was just a waste of time and money. The ending was shocking. I felt i was watching resident evil mixed with a usual exorcism combined with SCREAM or something…… I wil definetly stay with my favorite Real scary movie… ” THE DEVIL INSIDE”.

  9. Holy yikes was this one a stinker. Only redeeming quality is that Ashley Bell is kind on the eyes. Otherwise, this thing was arguably as bad if not worse than the Apparition. I would rather have watched Carrol Channing do four hours of standup than seen this abomination. It will be tough to top this one, but this will easily be the worst film of the year. The story was brutal and it dragged on. The first one was at least a different look into the possession storyline that was anchored by an excellent performance from the lead actor (seriously I thought he did one of the best jobs in a long time as far as horror acting goes). But this thing just shows you how much of a story there really wasn’t. It made PA 4 look like a brilliant screenplay. I’d rather go watch Carrot Top’s Chairman of the Board than this drivel ever again.

  10. What a disappointing movie! The original The Last Exorcism wasn’t a masterpiece but at least had something to say: this movie instead is lacking tension, fear, rythm, good lines and freshness.
    Poor Ashley Bell, she’s to good for these kind of things.

  11. I actually enjoyed this movie. Although I didn’t enjoy the ending to the first movie, I get the angle they were going for and I like it. that’s right I like it. I’m glad they decided to scrap the new first person or live-came trend, it doesn’t fit for their angle on the exorcism stuff. I’m one of the few who actually liked how they show her trying to live a normal life after the first movie, not many movies show an after-the-fact, and I actually liked the ending, it was cool how they end tongue-in-cheek so to speak. All in all, this movie is a unique take on exorcism and shouldn;t be compared to all of the other movies in this sub-genre of horror. I don’t think they understand. I give this movie a 3.8 out of 5 due to some parts of the plot that needed filling, i.e. the tape getting out, the voodoo cult and how they came to be, the menaing behind the croatoa, etc.

  12. I don’t care what everyone else thinks. I think this movie was a great horror romance between demon and girl. Call me a freak, I love this movie and the ending is perfect.