The Last Exorcism Part II (15)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner06/06/2013

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 84 mins

The returning presence of Ashley Bell and some atmospheric direction ensure that this remains watchable, but it's only intermittently scary and ultimately adds very little to the previous film apart from making a mockery of its title and paving the way for future instalments.

What's it all about?
Directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly, The Last Exorcism: Part II picks up shortly after the events of the previous film, with innocent, religious country teenager Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell) being found in a feral state in a random couple's kitchen, after having somehow survived her ordeal. She is taken to a home for troubled young girls in New Orleans where she begins to rebuild her life, thanks to the kind attentions of home director Frank (Muse Watson) and her friendship with fellow inmate Gwen (Julia Garner).

However, after Nell falls for cute co-worker Chris (Spencer Treat Clark) at her motel-cleaning job, she begins to experience spooky goings-on and soon becomes convinced that the demon Abalom is after her again, a suspicion that's seemingly confirmed by a ghostly visit from her dead father (Louis Hertham), who also adds an apocalyptic flavour to proceedings and warns her that the fate of the world may be at stake.

The Good
The first film was presented as a found footage-style documentary, but Gass-Donnelly reverts to standard narrative for the sequel, allowing for suitably atmospheric assistance from both the editing and Michael Wandmacher's score. Similarly, Gass-Donnelly orchestrates a number of effectively creepy sequences, including an encounter with a street mime (terrifying enough even without the threat of a demon) and a scene involving Garner's character; he also finds a clever way of incorporating the found footage from the first film, with some of the footage finding its way onto YouTube, to be marvelled at by Nell's friends.

The fact that Nell is supposed to be in recovery for the majority of the film means that the sequel largely dispenses with Ashley Bell's remarkable contortion-based abilities, but she delivers a likeable, engaging and achingly vulnerable performance that works well. There's also strong support from Garner and Watson, though Spencer Treat Clark is rather underused and a little too blank as Chris.

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is that it doesn't really add anything to the original film, except to open the door to a potential franchise, thereby making an even bigger mockery of its title (it ought to be called The Last Exorcism 2: Probably Not The Last Exorcism). Similarly, the actual exorcism sequence is poorly set up and badly rushed, meaning that it lacks both dramatic and emotional impact.

On top of that, although the ending sets up a potentially interesting third instalment, the overall effect is severely diminished through the use of some poor CGI effects.

Worth seeing?
The Last Exorcism: Part II is neither as scary nor as inventive as the first film, but it's just about worth watching thanks to a strong performance from Ashley Bell and a handful of effectively creepy moments.

Film Trailer

The Last Exorcism Part II (15)
Be the first to review The Last Exorcism Part II...
01 Focus (15)

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro

02 Selma (12A)

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth

03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaert...

04 Chappie (tbc)

Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley

05 A Most Violent Year (15)

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

Content updated: 17/07/2018 14:50

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Foxcatcher (15)

Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum star in this real life inspired story of Olympic talent, fierce competition and murder.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films