Friday, March 1, 2013

The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)

**This review contains spoilers**

Following the events of The Last Exorcism Part I, Nell (Ashley Bell) is still trying to escape the wrath of the evil demon known as Abalam. Nell’s father and brother are still missing, so Nell is forced to live in a foster home for troubled teenage girls.

Nell tries to adjust to a new life, and a friend named Chris (Spencer Treat Clark) wants Nell as a girlfriend, but Nell is still hesitant to trust another man. Nell’s daily routine of working as a cleaning lady for a motel is disrupted, when signs of Abalam’s return surface. Abalam will do anything to reclaim his victim, and an exorcism is Nell’s only hope to survive and finally defeat Abalam.

You know something, I actually enjoyed The Last Exorcism Part I. It was a nice surprise, but Part II is pure trash. With the exception of flashback footage from the first film, Part II completely drops the found-footage style of filmmaking. I’m not a big fan of found-footage flicks, but I didn’t feel any realism in this film, and the shaky cam tricks could’ve added a much needed spark of life to the sequel.

Part II is very, VERY boring. I almost fell asleep at least three times, and staying awake during this film was a real test. The back-breaking and contorted seizure bullshit loses its shock factor after the first twenty-five minutes, and showing Abalam torturing Nell in the flashbacks didn’t help anything. Director Ed Gass-Donnelly randomly (and constantly) inserts flashback footage of Nell’s exorcism and torture scenes from Part I throughout the film. Donnelly wanted to stir up some jump scares with this technique, but the “HOLY SHIT DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO NELL???” flashbacks didn’t do anything for me.

The plot holes are mind-boggling. First, one of the girls in the house has a violent seizure. They call 911, and after that, we never get an update for the girl‘s status. Was Abalam behind the seizure? They never explained anything. Nell’s father pops up out of nowhere halfway through the movie, and he tries to murder Nell, so he can get rid of Abalam once and for all. Eh, where did Nell’s dad come from? How did he find her? Nell’s dad was tied up during that creepy satanic ritual at the end of Part I, so how did he escape? And one of the girls in the house is obviously a servant for Abalam (it‘s the blonde chick in the trailer with the big black, creepy eyes). She murders Nell’s father, and promises Abalam will return to reclaim his number one target…..and her character just fades away after that.

So there’s only one way to stop Abalam: an exorcism! Well, no shit. How else are you suppose to stop the demon? Part II slowly treads through its dull story, and the grand conclusion is a fucking exorcism? Seriously? “We have to stop Abalam! But how?” This was the thought process from every protagonist throughout the movie. It felt like they were trying to build towards something different, but the writers just settled for another exorcism finale. And to top it off, the big exorcism at the end is really lame. They tried an exorcism in Part I, and it DID NOT work, so why would you try it again?

The story barley progresses. We all know Nell is possessed, we all know Abalam is still stalking her (and apparently a part of him is still inside Nell), and anyone, who knows enough about horror movies knows you can’t just outrun a demon. The story hits the standstill wall, and Part II is a prime example of a money-grabbing “let’s just get them into the theater, and then we’ll go from there” boring filler film.

Nell’s sexual antics are kind of awkward. Apparently, Abalam wants Nell as a lover, and Ashley Bell has a handful of weird scenes, where a possessed Nell shows “excitement” for the impending return of Abalam. One scene includes Nell dropping her cleaning duties, so she can listen to another couple having sex in the opposite room. And in another scene, Nell licks one of the girls at the foster home on the side of her face, while she’s sleeping. Yeah.

“It can’t get any worse. It just can’t.” I kept trying to convince myself, but Part II continued to push the limits for a shitty horror movie. Nell is trying to figure out a solution for Abalam’s return, so she asks some voodoo lady for advice. She explains how Abalam is in love with Nell? Oy vey, the demon is in “love” with Nell? Yikes, that just kills the evil mystique for Abalam, but Abalam’s intentions were announced towards the end, and I already gave up on any chances for a decent film.

The Last Exorcism Part II is a tedious and boring chore to sit through, and Part II features one too many unintentionally funny moments. Plus, the CGI is horrendous, and the sporadic bursts of flames at the end sink to low levels of tackiness. Ashley bell deserves a lot of credit, because she gave it her all in the leading role, but Bell couldn’t save this film. Congratulations Part II. You can now join the long list of other shitty horror sequels. Ugh, I actually regret paying the $7.50 matinee price. Hopefully, Part II tanks at the box office, so they won’t feel the need to make a Part III.    

Final Rating: 1/10

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