Viau’s View/Scott Viau
I don’t really care for supernatural horror movies – and that includes ones about exorcisms – but when my brother-in-law had me watch “The Last Exorcism,” I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t necessarily about a demonic possession (although that’s certainly in there)but one faux preacher and his attempt to disprove that possessions actually happen. Unfortunately, the sequel, contains none of the charm or genuine scares of the first and is just a cash grab that will ultimately leave the studio’s pockets lighter than they would have liked it.
Nell Sweetzer, played by Ashley Bell, has not been having the best few months. First she found out that her father had been part of a cult to impregnate her with a demon’s spawn and now she’s all alone, catatonic and unable to remember past events – until one day she emerges from the darkness and tries to live a normal life. But when you’ve got a demon chasing after you, there’s really no such thing as normal.
I can’t fault Ashley Bell for this completely unnecessary sequel. She does as good of a job as she did in the original. She plays her character very sweetly and with the right amount of naivet. The rest of the cast…well, there’s no really much for them to do. Everyone Nell meets ultimately turns into some sort of horrifying demonic persona so their endgame is really just to look like they’re possessed.
While the original film was shot in the “found footage” style, the sequel takes a more basic approach, which it addresses by having the opening shot of the film be a camcorder lying in the woods. Unfortunately, this is the most interesting shot in the movie.
With a title like “The Last Exorcism,”?one would think that it would be too ludicrous to actually have a sequel to it, but obviously that’s not the case. And instead of taking the time to actually plan out a decent story, the filmmakers probably just followed studio orders in making a sequel as fast as they could. It’s a shame, really. The first one was so surprising in how good of a story it presented that that the second pales in comparison, and that’s being nice about it.
The only good thing about the sequel is the ending where Nell’s fate is finally revealed. Not only is it a sign that the movie is done, but it’s nice a little twist, but even that you can see coming.