This feeble sequel makes even its lackluster predecessor look good—or at least less terrible than it was. “The Last Exorcism” proves to have been wrong, since there’s yet another of those rituals here. But despite the use of the already passe found-footage premise, complete with the obligatory shaky-cam cinematography, it at least had some interesting plot twists, even if they were ineptly handled—the most notable being the charlatan characteristic of the self-described exorcist himself. This “Part II” has absolutely no points of interest, except wonder at why anybody made it and why anybody is releasing the dismal thing into theatres.
Though the first picture seemed to end pretty conclusively, we learn that there was one survivor—the supposedly possessed Nell (Ashley Bell), who here breaks into a house, looking feral and terrified, before being shipped off to a New Orleans mental institution and then to a home for troubled young women run by kindhearted Frank (Muse Watson). But as she wanders around town, she’s haunted by spooky goings-on and apparitions of her dead father (Louis Herthum). Animals shun her, and one scene has the church she enters for solace attacked by a flock of suicidal birds (something that also happened last week’s “Dark Skies”—maybe it will become this year’s motif). The shock value of all these supposedly scary events is nil—not only because they’re so banal, but so familiar.
The message Nell keeps receiving is that he—the demon—is coming for her, and taking control of those around her. Luckily—or not—she’s literally plucked off the street by woman who looks like some sort of voodoo priestess and taken home for an exorcism. But like the one in the first picture, it turns out badly.
So does the whole movie, which basically amounts to a series of tedious foreshadowings that lead up to a damp squib of a finale—a conclusion without a payoff, though it does provide space for another sequel. And it’s as poorly acted as it’s scripted and directed, with Bell giving a performance that’s at the level of bad soap opera in the lead and everyone else coming off as thoroughly amateurish. The whole physical production is of the bargain-basement variety, with effects that could be bettered by any savvy kid with a garage and a computer at his disposal.
A disposal, in fact, seems the appropriate venue for this piece of trash.