WARNING: THT VIDEO ABOVE CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE
Ever wonder how you’d fare in a horror movie? A bunch of beauty shop patrons just found out courtesy of a wonderfully eerie Last Exorcism Part 2-style prank.
Similar to that elevator scare produced by a Brazilian TV show, “Beauty Shop Scare” goes the ghost girl route, hiding a possessed Nell Sweetzer lookalike behind a mirror to offer up a real life jump scare. The large majority of the targets are genuinely freaked out, but the better reactions come towards the tail end of the piece - when the entire salon goes into disarray at the sight of the iconic Last Exorcism backbend in the flesh.
Even as someone who’s generally desensitized to creepy imagery courtesy of one too many horror movies, the sight of someone walking around in such an abnormal position is pretty disconcerting. Because The Last Exorcism and what we’ve seen of the sequel is so polished looking, it’s easy to forget that Nell’s backbend isn’t movie magic; that’s really actress Ashley Bell contorting her body and convincing you she’s possessed by Abalam.
In fact, Bell herself came up with the idea for the backbend in the first place. While prepping for The Last Exorcism, Bell was inspired by the videos she watched while researching exorcisms and fits of hysteria - then pitched the idea to director Daniel Stamm. Not only did the move make its way into the final cut of the film, it basically became the symbol of the entire franchise.
While Bell was thrilled to bring back the backbend for Part II, she was also eager to one-up the initial creation and got the okay to try a levitating version. It wasn’t easy and even left her with a stress fracture in her lower vertebrate, but Bell claims to have had a blast doing it and, based on the peek we get from the trailer, it looks to be well worth it, too.
Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.