Rating: 1 star out of 5
With so many exorcism films in recent years, it's hard to remember which one this is the sequel to. The first film was at least one of the better ones in the wave of found footage exorcism films, and it earned enough at the box-office to get the producers to do a sequel.
Abandoning the found footage style of the first film, the sequel goes for a more standard narrative but doesn't have the same scares as the first film.
Picking up from where the first movie ended, Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell), a girl possessed by a demon, is sent away to New Orleans. Reverend Marcus, the main protagonist of the first film, is gone, and Nell has to carry the movie on her own.
After undergoing lots of psychology tests, Nell is placed in a halfway home for girls run by Frank Merle (Muse Watson, ‘Prison Break’). Adjusting to regular life, she finds a job as a motel maid. She even appears to have the seed of relationship with Chris (Spencer Treat Clark, ‘Unbreakable’).
The demon inside her, however, starts making life difficult, and her old life also comes back to haunt her. Videos of her possession have found their way to the internet, and while it might not be as bad as a sex tape video with a B-grade rap star, Nell gets mocked by the other girls in the house.
The demon inside her soon makes its appearance and disrupts her life. It all leads up to an exorcism scene at the end that's delivered like a necessity, with predictable consequences.
Bell tries to do what she can with her role, though the 27-year old actress looks too old to be playing a teenager. Director Ed Gass-Donelly gives Bell little moments where she discovers modern conveniences such as music, but they fail to really add depth to a two-dimensional character. The rest of the cast don't get to do much; they end up either smirking at Nell or looking fearfully at her.
There are the usual clichés of the exorcism genre, such as Nell doing yoga-like contortions. Still, the scares are far fewer, along with what seems like a much smaller effects budget. After watching Linda Blair spin her head around, Nell floating above her bed is as scary as a torn sock.
In the sequel, most of the killings are done off-screen. Gore hounds will find little here to enjoy.
The most horrifying non-surprise lies at the end of the film, as we learn that this might not be ‘The Last Exorcism’. After this thoroughly bland effort, the producers should heed the title, and just let this franchise rest in peace.