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Last Exorcism, The: Part II


Stars: Ashley Bell, Julia Garner, Spencer Treat Clark, David Jensen, Tarra Riggs, Louis Herthum, Muse Watson, Erica Michelle, Sharice A Williams, Boyana Balta, Joe Chrest, Raden Greer, Judd Lormand, E Roger Mitchell.

Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly

After making a commendable directorial debut with the low-budget shocker Cabin Fever, Eli Roth fell under the influence of Quentin Tarantino, who served as one of the producers of the repellent horrorflick Hostel and its even more repulsive sequel Hostel: Part II.

Roth served as a producer of The Last Exorcism and is also a producer of this pointless, cliché-ridden sequel in which Ashley Bell, having survived the exorcism of the original, is now traumatized and, possibly like many of those who sat through the original, is unable to remember “entire portions” of her ordeal.

She suffers from nightmares (the best parts of the film are the fiery montage of horrors at the start and a moderately scary sequence of a married couple facing supernatural fears) and discovers the demon that caused the murder of her family in the first film is back and panting for a sequel. Footage of the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans makes a welcome change from dud dialogue and seen-it-all-before shocks and Bell has a mildly scary encounter with a silver living statue before everything boils up to a welcome, but long overdue climax whose fiery conclusion appears to have been lifted (or could it be homage) from Corman. And there’s even a nod to The Exorcist when Bell rises up from her bed and hangs in the air. A really good actor might have managed to make odd moments seem worthwhile and better than they actually are. Bell, however, fails.

And is there a moral?

Possibly, if you consider the advice “If he can seduce you, you’ll be fine” offered to Bell as a way of ending her nightmares. Or perhaps that, too, was simply intended as homage to the legendary Hollywood plea, “Who do I have to sleep with to get off this picture?”

The best performance, which isn’t saying much, comes from Louis Herthum as Bell’s late father who keeps on turning up to warn her of the horrors to come. In my view the best things to come were the end credits which sadly turned up too late to save the shoddy show.

For the record, Ed Gass-Donnelly also co-wrote the screenplay) with Damien Chazelle and edited the film. A true auteur.

Alan Frank

USA 2013. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour.
88 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 06 Jun 2013