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Movie Review

The Last Exorcism Part II also known as “The Last Exorcism 2”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for horror violence, terror and brief language.

Reviewed by: Ryan Callaway
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Horror Thriller Drama Sequel
Length:
1 hr. 28 min.
Year of Release:
2013
USA Release:
March 1, 2013 (wide—2,600+ theaters)
DVD: June 18, 2013
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exorcism

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Featuring: Andrew Sensenig … Doctor
Julia Garner … Gwen
Ashley Bell … Nell Sweetzer
Spencer Treat Clark … Chris
Judd Lormand … Jared
Muse Watson … Frank
Louis Herthum … Louis Sweetzer
E. Roger Mitchell … Jeffrey
Raeden Greer … Steph
Cristina Franco … Marie
David Jensen … John Calder
Joe Chrest … Pastor
Tarra Riggs … Cecile
Ashlynn Ross … Michelle
Diva Tyler … Bev
Erica Michelle … Daphne
Boyana Balta … Lily
Sharice A. Williams … Mo
Gideon Hodge … Tinman
Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly
Producer: Arcade Pictures
Strike Entertainment
more »
Distributor: CBS Films

Review of the prequel to this movie: The Last Exorcism (2010)

“The Last Exorcism” was a surprise hit in 2009. While moviegoers debated its overall worth, and, in particular, the controversial ending, it made a mark at the box office and on DVD. The film utilized the “found footage” faux-documentary style that has become popular since “The Blair Witch,” and, in my opinion, it more than delivered. The storyline was intriguing, Reverend Cotton made a likable protagonist, and the ending was so shocking that it made a lasting impression.

In “The Last Exorcism 2” the faux-documentary style is abandoned for the more traditional form of storytelling, a move that made me anticipate the sequel all the more. Following the events of the first film, Nell (Ashley Bell) turns up in the house of a young couple and is committed to a hospital. She is initially so traumatized by what happened in the woods that she’s unable to speak, and when she is, she doesn’t remember much. Instead of being placed in a psych hospital, her doctor opts to put her in a girl’s home under his own care. She is haunted by nightmares and terrifying visions, but she puts her belief in the demonic behind her, and, gradually, Nell begins to assimilate into a normal life with friends, a new job, and even a boyfriend named Chris. Unfortunately, her lack of belief doesn’t negate reality, the dark nature of which continues to pursue her. She eventually learns that the demon that possessed her wants her back, with the purpose of bringing about an Armageddon, and he sets about tormenting and seducing her until she gives in to his sinister intentions.

The trailer wasn’t impressive, but I learned a long time ago that 2 minute clips of a film can be misleading. A solid trailer, put together carefully, can make a bad-to-average movie seem amazing. In the reverse, a mediocre trailer can actually be concealing a genuinely good film, as was the case with “Dark Skies.” “The Last Exorcism 2” doesn’t escape the clichés or the mundane atmosphere that the previews demonstrated. The film is well done. Most of the acting is convincing; Ashley Bell again delivers a wonderful performance. As mentioned earlier, the special effects are believable, and there are a few really suspenseful and scary moments. The majority, however, fall flat. Sadly, one can see a lot of the scares coming a mile away, because they’ve been done to death, and this film doesn’t present anything refreshing or all that original (until the last 5 minutes perhaps).

The writer took time to really develop Nell’s character and her experience of gaining a life after her horrible past. Regardless, I couldn’t have cared less about any of the other characters, and her relationship with her “boyfriend” is rather pointless. They had no real chemistry nor any reason to like each other, yet they seem to be falling in love. Then again, that probably happens a lot nowadays in real life—the difference is, in those instances, I didn’t pay money to see it, and I wasn’t asked to invest in it emotionally. Like the scares, the majority of Nell’s relationships just don’t get me involved. Some of the moments are more laughable than intense or gripping. And once we begin to learn about the demon’s plans to bring about “the end of the world,” silliness ensues.

Unlike the first film, where a person with true faith would’ve been capable of dispelling the demon, in the sequel it’s too powerful to be dealt with. The church doesn’t offer her help, nor does the Voodoo utilized by locals attempting to assist Nell. I don’t quite understand the worldview presented here and in other movies that has God powerless to stop a demonic entity from destroying the universe. I know if we invoke the Lord too soon in a horror movie—it’ll take away the suspense and probably (realistically) shorten the action. But people seem to ignore the fact that although Satan and his host of evil spirits are indeed frightening… they TREMBLE because of God (James 2:19). Remember, in the gospels these powerful spirits fell at Jesus” feet and BEGGED Him not to punish them before their time. It’s more than a little annoying when Hollywood presents the demonic side accurately, but then drops the ball when it comes to the reality of God. I’m fine with movies where evil wins… because it does win—against humans. When God is brought into the equation and made to seem powerless—that’s when I take issue. As a result I appreciate films like “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” which actually have a purpose and don’t shy away from Jesus” power.

Back to “The Last Exorcism 2”—the content isn’t horrible. The violence is filmed with the PG-13 rating in mind, but many disturbing things are implied. One person has his throat slit, but we don’t see anything other than the blood on his shirt and hand, afterward. There are a few times when blood splatters on something nearby, and a man is knocked through a second story window. Someone else appears to have their neck broken, but the visual is distorted.

Sexual content: There’s a close-up kiss between two people, but, other than that, the demon known as Abalam is usually involved in the action. It reminded me of the abomination that was “A Haunted House” by the Wayans Brothers, only nowhere near as graphic. The demon uses Nell’s own hand to caress her face and her breasts, while she moans in a very sensual manner. While possessed, she also licks another girl’s cheek, but it’s more weird than sexual. As for language… the F-word is used once; other than that the language is pretty tame.

Overall, the movie is a below average effort, which is a shame, because with the budget, the success of the original, and Ashley Bell’s acting, they had the ingredients for a worthy followup to the first. Unfortunately, instead of a deliciously scary motion picture baked just right, “The Last Exorcism 2” is more like a cake you forgot to put the sugar in. It’s laborious to eat, all the more, because you know what could have been.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate—OMG (4), “Jesus” (2), “For Chr*st’s sakes” (1), “hell” (1), f-word (1), s-word (5), “ass,” SOB Sex/Nudity: Heavy

Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer

DEMON POSSESSSION and Influence—Can Christians be demon possessed? In what ways can Satan and his demons influence believers? Answer

Are you going to Heaven?
Are you going to Heaven? Are you SURE you know the answer this extremely important question? Or have you made some common wrong assumptions? Find out now!

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