The Last Exorcism Part II
Directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly
Release Date: 1 March 2013
It seems like any horror film that does moderately well these days will spawn a sequel… especially if it’s rated PG-13 and can pull in the right demographics. So you’d think producers and filmmakers would be a little more circumspect in titling their films. With nearly identical posters and release dates within a month of each other, the only fascinating thing about these two films are their completely oxymoronic titles. I see that Exorcism backed itself into a corner and is bravely facing things down by continuing a character story arc… but Haunting? They would have done well to chop off that laughable addendum and pleaded ignorance like its pal Exorcism.
Neither film retains its original director, but Exorcism II was able to bring in Gass-Donnelly who gave us Small Town Murder Songs. From the trailer we see that the found footage route has been mercifully abandoned in favour of a voodoo backdrop. Ashley Bell is the only returning cast member as the demon beleaguered Nell, who is off to college to move on from her possession-having days. And nothing can be worse than demon possession… I mean except for the bitchy girls at the sorority house she’s living in. But of course that old demon never really went away and isn’t it lucky that she’s landed in New Orleans where she can get herself a proper Louisiana Voudou exorcism. Having watched the trailer, I feel as if I’ve already seen the whole film. Yet besides looking totally predictable there’s a certain overlay of charm that Bell gives off in the midst of her sorority sisters – as if Carrie White went to university and shook hands with the devil. Probably not one to see in the theaters, but I’d give it a go in my dark living room.
Directed by Tom Elkins
Release Date: 1 February 2013 (limited and VOD)
Original Connecticut film editor Elkins moves up the ranks to direct his first movie, this sequel set in Georgia. And you sure can tell you’re in Georgia from the trailer: there are banjos, and trucks, and wife beaters, and suspect facial hair. I almost got excited that the film was rated R, a notch up from the tepid PG-13 of the first, but then I watched the trailer. It’s your typical “family moves into a house with a history” story, but it lacked anything tantalizing or chilling the way a horror trailer should. And I can’t help wondering if this MPAA rating is not for gore or intensity, but for the uneasy plot surrounding house’s history as a stopping point in the Underground Railroad. There’s no big name to draw except Katee Sackhoff, who I hope is not, but probably is, being wasted as a talent here. The film is “based on a true story” the way the first was (they were both pulled from the old Discovery show, The Haunting – watch that instead) but I’m sure that story has been warped and misrepresented for this sequel.
By Kiki McGraw