Somehow the found footage genre still seems to be churning out films even though most of them are just bad. The Last Exorcism was one that worked pretty well as it made sense to the story and the overall film was executed pretty well, despite the lame ending. To no one’s surprise the success of that film spawned a sequel that intelligently decided to move away from the found footage style and make it a normal movie that looks to be pretty cool, despite it’s somewhat silly name.
The Last Exorcism II follows Nell as she tries to build a new life after escaping the events of the original film, but when things seem to be going well the evil that once possessed her returns to take back its host. Much like the Blair Witch Project, Exorcism decided to go this other route with its sequel, but unlike it tried to keep the story intact. The story is perfect for the direction to keep this story moving, but sadly the film doesn’t offer all that much. If not for Ashley Bell, reprising her role, this film would have fallen apart fast. She is so great in this role delivering all the emotional torment and innocence needed to make this character work. Beyond here there is really little going on in this movie other than her wandering around Louisiana. We all know that the formula of the possession films is the slow build, but when we already have an established story and character there is no need for it to be this slow. The few moments of “haunting” that you do get work well enough, but nothing like the powerful imagery of the first film that made it stand out so much.
This is one of those sequels that wasn’t needed but welcomed in hopes to make up for what they did with the silly ending of its predecessor. Make no mistake this isn’t a horrible movie, it is actually still pretty entertaining on some levels, just doesn’t push the limits like it should have. The ending proved to be a bit of an interesting direction to continue the series, but was just a bit too little too late to pack the punch it needed.