Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Horror
  • 2013
  • 88 mins

The Last Exorcism Part II

The Last Exorcism Part II

Synopsis

Abandoning the original's found footage format and postmodern pranks, Ed Glass-Donnelly's possession sequel reverts to subgenre norms - with a couple of twists.

About

Like horror's answer to F For Fake, Daniel Stamm's original The Last Exorcism (2010) exposed all the manipulative tricks of the exorcist's - and the exorcism movie's - trade, and then, in a curveball conclusion, tricked us with them anyway. Offering itself up as a deconstructive endpoint to the whole subgenre, it did not, as its name implies, lend itself to a sequel.

Yet if this ludicrously-titled follow-up sounds like a crass cash-in, and if director/co-writer Ed Glass-Donnelly (Small Town Murder Songs) certainly steers things back to a more predictable formula (good and evil struggle over an innocent woman's soul) and more cliched scares (a dog suddenly barking, birds hitting windows, etc.), the devil here is in the details, some of which are strikingly novel. As Nell (Ashley Bell, still excellent) reemerges traumatised from her experiences at the hands of a backwoods Satanic cult, she moves into a New Orleans shelter for damaged girls, gradually embracing a more secular lifestyle - even if her past keeps resurfacing both in nightmarish visions and in Youtube clips (excerpted from the first film) of her earlier possession.

Indeed, Nell has become a freakish internet sensation - and in keeping with modern times, the most diabolical temptation that both she and the entire world must face is not the rock music to which she now listens, or her burgeoning sexual desire for others, but rather that peculiar affliction of the online age, her own rampaging narcissism (emblematised by a recurrent image of Nell looking in the mirror). It is self-love that keeps Nell from submitting herself to the requisite act of Jesus-like self-sacrifice that all other exorcism films require, leading to a boldly unconventional ending that makes another sequel as unimaginable as it is perhaps inevitable.

In a nutshell: This sequel upgrades the conventional possession plot to the internet age. Like its young heroine, it is not without flaws, but fresh enough to attract attention right to the bitter end.

By Anton Bitel

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Muse Watson, David Jensen, Spencer Treat Clark
  • Producer: Eric Newman, Eli Roth, Marc Abraham
  • Photographer: Brendan Steacy
  • Composer: Michael Wandmacher

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Silver Linings Playbook

    Silver Linings Playbook

    Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in this Oscar-winning romantic dramedy that deals with the implications of a relationship forming in the midst of mental illness

  • Film4 The Wackiest Ship In The Army

    The Wackiest Ship In The Army

    Jack Lemmon stars as a Lieutenant tricked into taking command of a ship full of misfits, tasked with a top secret mission to save hundreds of allied lives

    On Film4: 29 Apr 4:45PM

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Mike Leigh announces new film, Peterloo

    Mike Leigh's next project will look at Peterloo - the infamous 1819 massacre by government forces at a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter's Field in Manchester, when 700 working people were inju

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Four Film4-backed films selected In Competition at Cannes 2015

    Four Film4-backed films ¿ Todd Haynes¿ Carol, Yorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster, Paolo Sorrentino¿s Youth and Justin Kurzel¿s Macbeth ¿ have been invited into official selection at this year¿s Cannes film

Rent now on Film4od

Available to rent for £2.99

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Tweets @Film4

  • Our late-night highlight at 2.05am is Tom Shkolnik's intimate drama The Comedian, starring Edward Hogg & Nathan Stewart-Jarrett.

  • "I say what I mean, and I do what I say." In 10mins at 10.45pm, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro face off in Michael Mann's crime thriller Heat.

  • Modern classic alert! At 10.45pm, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro & Val Kilmer star in Michael Mann’s crime thriller Heat. http://t.co/m6XRJKjpku

  • If you're interested in the true story behind The Bling Ring, here's the Vanity Fair article that inspired the film: http://t.co/qjtQJs18LR

  • @ksampsonwriter That's a *great* cover.

Share