The Last Exorcism Part II
To have lived an unfulfilled childhood is terrifying. What I mean are the stories about kids that have been brought up in an environment that was more damaging to growing up. There are a lot of cults that train their supporters about how they should raise their families. I’m fine if all their bring taught is another way of believing in god as long as they are still brought up as decent people. But how do you explain to a child that’s been in a sect that everything they have been taught was a lie and that they need to start over?
For some, the damaging had been so large that it would have been too late and they will require psychological evaluation for the rest of their lives. But for the lucky that were able to get out in time, they can still have normal lives, as long as the past doesn’t find them. The story of one’s tragic past coming back has been done before, and to be honest, I was looking forward to this one. The Last Exorcism Part II follows the events from the first film from 2010. I happened to like the first film as it was not only an effective horror thriller, it’s a witty encounter with the questions of faith and how the secular life can have consequences of children.
Due to the events of the previous film, the narrative shifts its focus on the possessed girl from the first movie, Nell Sweetzer (played by Ashley Bell). She had apparently escaped the church’s rituals and is found in a kitchen looking dirty and catatonic. She has no memory of what just happened, so the doctors attempt to integrate her back into the real world. She is placed into a home for young women in New Orleans where she makes some friends and even gets a job at a local motel. Life seems to start for young Nell, until the spirits of the bayou where she grew up have apparently found her.
While attending a Mardi Gras parade, she encounters some masked individuals that are stalking her and a living statue remarks to her, “You’ve been Missed” She even starts to see her father. It’s not long until the girls in her home come across a video of her exorcism from the first movie (I guess this make the first film a movie within this movie). She starts to get recognized off of the street, so Nell seems to have trouble escaping the previous demonic events. Eventually, she runs into a member of the Order of the Right Hand that wants to fully exorcise her body from the devil for good.
An interesting thing to point out is that while the first film was shot as a “found footage” movie, The Last Exorcism Part II is much more of a traditional movie. I think they decided to change formats because they were attempting for more of a psychological story then a horror story. The question here is not the story format, but whether or not it’s as entertaining as before.
The answer is a big no. The backfire upon Nell’s character is that she’s too sweet to succumb to the demonistic rituals she is forced to encounter. She sees a monster. She reacts. She runs. Rinse and repeat. Much of the time, I just felt sorry for her. Why couldn’t they write a story about her becoming more rebellious and then encounter her evil past? That would have been more interesting. Whenever the movie does try to throw scares at the audience, it barley works. Is it a bad movie? Yes, but on the grounds of how uninteresting the story is.
I’ll give this one and a half shots of CGI fire out of five. We gave this movie a chance, but I hope the filmmakers stop while they can quit.