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Film Review: ‘The Last Exorcism, Part II’ is Total Nonsense

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CHICAGO – “The Last Exorcism, Part II” is just nonsense. When the title was revealed, much mockery was made of a moniker that includes the words “Last” and “Part II” but the funniest word may be “Exorcism.” Believe it or not, there isn’t even the threat of one for over an hour. It’s almost like the legendary “Troll 2” (which has no trolls). It’s just indicative of how utterly pointless this venture is, completely devoid of style, horror, character, personality, and logic. At one point, the characters watch part of Daniel Stamm’s effective original online after the found footage from that film goes viral. Just that little part of the first movie is the best part of this one.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

Picking up basically at the end of the first movie (although not quite answering that nagging question as to who cut together the found footage from the last flick), it is revealed that everyone but Nell (Ashley Bell) died in the fire. Her claims of possession by a demon named Absalam go unheeded and she is, of course, deemed crazy and put in a home for girls. She is watched over by a warden-type named Frank (Muse Watson), makes friends with a more adventurous girl named Gwen (the great Julia Garner from the upcoming “We Are What We Are”), gets a job at a hotel, and even develops a crush on a boy named Chris (Spencer Treat Clark). All the while, she is visited by scary sounds, flies, creaky doors, and other things that go bump in the night or boom on a horror movie soundtrack.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “The Last Exorcism, Part II” in our reviews section.

Whereas the first film played with questions of faith and doubt in its representation of a girl who may or may not be possessed, there’s no question of that fact here. The burning symbols on the wall, the fluttering eyes that turn to white, the music that instructs you to be scared – it’s all pointing in one direction. And that lack of doubt really makes for a film with absolutely no forward momentum. There is no movie if Nell isn’t eventually overtaken by Absalam a la the memorable scene in the barn from the original. And instead of building something character-based or thematically interesting on that inevitability, writers Damien Chazelle & Ed Gass-Donnelly, who also directs, do absolutely nothing but pile clichés and jump scares that make no sense.

Believe it or not, a movie like “The Last Exorcism, Part II” needs to have a bit of logic. Scares work when they make sense in the context of the film’s story (as they do throughout “The Last Exorcism”). When they are so clearly designed not with logic in mind but to provoke the audience, they fail. Why would Absalam send Nell a vision of her father trying to kill her to stop the demon’s arrival? What possible purpose would that have? Why would he raise knives in a kitchen toward a demon-killer trying to dismiss him instead of just cutting her throat? It makes no sense. And Gass-Donnelly piles up these ridiculous, flat visuals to such a degree that it becomes impossible to care about what’s happening.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “The Last Exorcism, Part II” review.

“The Last Exorcism, Part II” stars Ashley Bell, Julia Garner, Spender Treat Clark, David Jensen, Louis Herthum, and Muse Watson. It was released on March 1, 2013, and is rated PG-13.

The Last Exorcism, Part II
The Last Exorcism, Part II
Photo credit: CBS Films

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