Combustible Celluloid
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With: Ashley Bell, Julia Garner, Spencer Treat Clark, David Jensen, Tarra Riggs, Louis Herthum, Muse Watson, Erica Michelle, Sharice Angelle Williams, Boyana Balta, Joe Chrest, Raeden Greer, Judd Lormand, E. Roger Mitchell, Dane Rhodes
Written by: Ed Gass-Donnelly, Damien Chazelle, from a story by Damien Chazelle
Directed by: Ed Gass-Donnelly
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for horror violence, terror and brief language
Running Time: 88
Date: 02/28/2013

The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)

2 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The actress Ashley Bell returns to the character of Nell, but otherwise, The Last Exorcism Part II is almost entirely different from its predecessor, The Last Exorcism. This movie no longer uses the "found-footage" motif (a shot of a dropped video camera on the ground signals this), and develops Nell into a fully rounded character this time, whereas last time the focus was on the "phony" priest.

As the story begins, possessed Nell has been found. After receiving treatment in a hospital, she's sent to live in a New Orleans halfway house for girls. Time goes by, and she's able to hold down a job, and things seem to be returning to normal. Unfortunately, the demon that pestered her last time around is still interested in her. But this time, it requires Nell to accept its love before it can regain its powers. Nell tries to resist but finds that strange things are beginning to happen all around her. Finally, she agrees to a procedure to rid her of the demon forever, but even then, nothing is quite as it seems.

Looking frail and halfway ruined, the fragile, lovely Nell calls upon delicate reserves of strength to navigate her new world, and she's a most appealing character. Unfortunately, she's submitted to too many routine, rudimentary jump-shock moments for her character to develop into anything memorable. Conversely, not very many of the scares are particularly new or effective. Indeed, director Ed Gass-Donnelly impresses more with his filmmaking economy than with his skill at storytelling or terror.

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