I’m cautious of found footage films, especially horror films that use it. Often the gimmick never elicits anything original or exciting. So when “The Last Exorcism” came out a few years ago, you can imagine how surprised I was that I enjoyed it so much. I love the dark side of religion; so big screen spectacles featuring the devil automatically pique my interest. This turned seeing it into a really enjoyable and scary experience. And then, the sequel came out.
“The Last Exorcism Part II” picks up immediately following the events of the first film. Nell (Ashley Bell) has no recollect of what happened in the climax of the last film. Found in the woods, she’s brought to a halfway house of sorts for young girls. She attempts to get beyond Abalam and the events that are speculated throughout the film. When things finally start to resemble some sort of normalcy, her life becomes once again tortured.
It’s tough to write a synopsis on a film that had so little going on in it. The film squanders all the goodwill and freshness of the original by getting rid of the found footage and adding a slew of vague religious references. Having it set in New Orleans gave the story a great deal of material to draw from, but instead it comes across bland and forgettable. The brief moments of CGI are so obvious it comes across as cheap.
I really wish more than producer Eli Roth and lead Ashley Bell returned. The uninspired writing and poor direction made the film fall flat. Bell does what she can to make it work, but the film can’t succeed on just her alone. I look forward to her next role, but I hope to forget this one quickly. 1/2 star out of 5 stars.
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