Sony // 2013 // 88 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // June 18th, 2013
Get ready for a second round with pure evil.
Poor Nell (Ashley Bell, The Day) can't catch a break. Since The Last Exorcism, the once possessed Nell survived a brutal fire and has now been placed in a New Orleans home for disturbed girls, which will hopefully help her figure out her past so she can move on to her future. But old demons die hard, Just as Nell gets herself on track with a new job and new friends, her past comes back to haunt her...literally. It appears the demon that possessed Nell (named "Abalam," which is not Mr. Lincoln's half brother) has returned for more, and will stop at nothing until Ashley is in its devastating grip of evil. Can Ashley survive a second round with the devil? Will anyone be left standing? And can someone please tell the makers of these movies to stop before I scrape my eyes out with a rusty salad spoon?
Current Hollywood trends dictate that if a movie makes a profit -- no matter how bereft of originality or quality -- a sequel will soon follow. This is doubly true in the horror genre, where films are often quite inexpensive to produce. Even if the pictures tanks everywhere but Podunk, KY, audiences can rest assured the follow-up will hit theaters a year or two later. Such is the case with The Last Exorcism Part II, another in a long line of never-ending demonic possession tales. In just the last few years we've seen The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Devil Inside, The Rite, The Haunting in Connecticut, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia, and Insidious. Seriously, how long will Hollywood continue to churn out these ridiculous attempts to match the awesomeness of Billy Friedkin's The Exorcist?
I saw The Last Exorcism when it arrived in theaters, but the film was such a jumbled mess of ideas all that remains is one heavy blur in my mind. All I can recall is: a) it was one of those horrendously trite found footage/faux documentary tales, and b) it was terrible. Now comes The Last Exorcism Part II, a movie more creatively bankrupt than the first film, which is really saying something. This one pulls every punch in the book, relying on REALLY LOUD STINGER SOUND EFFECTS to get you to jump. It's the cheapest kind of scare there is. If that's all it takes to scare someone, I could sit down and make a ninety minute movie involving a camera moving through a house while periodically throwing things at it with a loud screeeeeee! every few moments.
The Last Exorcism Part II is a bad movie. Worse yet, it's an intensely boring experience that makes you wait...and wait...and wait...for anything interesting to happen. Once in a while, someone's eyes turn inky black or shadows show up outside of church windows. Screeeeeeee! Maybe someone's head turns slightly crooked with a loud cracking sound. Double Screeeeeeee! Point is nothing of real consequence happens that makes anyone want to keep watching (but for you, I did). To actress Ashley Bell's credit, she tries mightily to act her way out of this terrible paper bag. Unfortunately, without a coherent script guiding her to new and interesting places, Bell and the rest of the cast flounder.
Of course, director Ed Gass-Donelly (Small Town Murder Songs) saves the best for the last, as the final ten minutes become somewhat engaging. I don't think it will surprise anyone to learn the film ends on a nihilistic note, which now feels rather clichéd. Still, the final scene packs a real punch, which is a shame considering the rest of the movie is neutered and stale. Had the filmmakers spent more time making these final moments the real meat of the film, The Last Exorcism Part II could have been a real hoot. Instead, it's a real howler.
Presented in 2.40:1/1080p high def widescreen, complain all you want about its artistic merits, but you cannot deny the fact that The Last Exorcism Part II looks excellent on Blu-ray. Sony has given this film a very solid video presentation with dark black levels and sharp colors. Remember those Screeeeeeee! sound effects? Well, here they are in all their DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sonic glory. The mix is good and features a lot of directional effects, especially during the moments of (supposed) horror. At one point, the bass rumbled so loud my dog barked. For those who need them, we also get English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
Bonus features include an audio commentary by director Ed Gass-Donelly and producer Eli Roth, three very brief featurettes ("Nell's Story," "Shooting in New Orleans," "Hair Salon Scare: The Last Exorcism Part II Goes Viral"), and an UltraViolet digital copy of the film.
About as appealing as eating pea soup barfed up by Linda Blair. Screeeeeeee!
Review content copyright © 2013 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2015 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 2.40:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
* UltraViolet Download