The likelihood that only 1 in 100 people will understand a reference I make in my titles will never prevent me from making that reference.
With The Last Exorcism: Part 2, it is now official; the words “Last”, “Final”, and all other equivalents mean absolutely nothing as far as Hollywood is concerned. Even if they announce the “end” of a series, they can now apparently add on as many Part X’s as they want and still have room for more. Luckily, by the time the studios crank out Part 3, my pledge to see every movie released in over 1,500 theaters in 2013 will have expired and I won’t have to sit through the boring, derivative mess I just saw. I have only seen one Exorcism-based movie (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, which at least featured a respectable cast and direction), but I’ve never really felt compelled to change that number. Sure, I plan on seeing the 1973 classic, but if this most recent addition to the genre is any indication I doubt I’ll find much more reason to continue on with it. Maybe this is because I don’t love horror movies, or maybe this is because my lack of a strong set of Christian beliefs hold me back from appreciating the true nature of demonic possession. Regardless of my own predispositions, I doubt there are many people out there who wouldn’t argue that The Last Exorcism: Part 2 is an aimless, uninteresting waste of time, completely bereft of any originality or real scares.
As Nell Sweetzer tries to build a new life after the events of the first movie, the evil force that once possessed her returns with an even more horrific plan.
As a brief note, I’d like to mention that I haven’t seen the first Last Exorcism. It’s entirely possible that fact means that I’m missing some deep, subtextual connection between the two movies, but I highly doubt it. Nevertheless I do think certain parts of the film would have made more sense to me if I had see the previous entry.
The one thing I’ll give the movie is that Ashley Bell doesn’t do quite as bad of a job on the acting front as I’ve seen in other movies this year (i.e. Texas Chainsaw 3D). That being said, the character she’s playing is just plain weird. She basically spends the whole movie alternating between sheltered but sweet and completely terrified. The problem with this is that the movie doesn’t really build to anything; the only sort of development of anyone comes in the change of heart Nell has near the end of the film, and even that comes so sudden that it barely has any impact on the film.
The supporting cast is also completely flat, with the exception of a few characters that stand out for sheer incomprehensible oddity. For example, Nell’s curly haired roommate Gwen has this sort of evil smirk for half the movie that is never really explained and gives the feeling that the writers didn’t even have an explanation. We also have the friendly neighborhood exorcist Cecile (Tarra Riggs), who has absolutely no personality and is pretty much only there to introduce an End of Days twist to the plot which is more laughable than sinister.
It’s hard to know where to begin in discussing how bad the writing is here. Between the story that goes absolutely nowhere and the dialogue which nobody on earth would ever confuse with actual human speech, it feels like there was slightly above Zero amount of effort in putting together the film’s screenplay. To be fair, I don’t think anybody ever expected anything more from this movie, but that doesn’t make it any less painful to watch if you have to sit through it.
The Verdict: 2.5/10 – Horrible
+ Ashley Bell isn’t nearly as horrible of an actress as this film would make you believe
– The story is slow and incomprehensible on the verge of ridiculous
– The characters and dialogue are nothing short of laughable
– It dangles a potentially amazing chicken-posession scene in front of us only to snatch it away before it can even happen
Rotten Tomatoes: 12%