Thursday, November 24, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: The Last Exorcism Part 2

Day #17

The Last Exorcism:
Part II

A young woman with a traumatic upbringing has a chance at a new start. But her past isn’t about to let her give it up without a fight.

Fright Factor:
1.5 / 5 Demonic Stalkers

Gore Factor:
1.5 / 5 Jerky Movements

Should you watch it?

I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly great movie, but it’s not like there was anything terrible about it either. All in all it’s a pretty lowkey flick. The boldest part of the movie by far is the fact that someone even tried to make a sequel to something titled The Last Exorcism in the first place.

Much like you’d expect from the title, there really wasn’t anything about the original movie that begged for a sequel. That being said, and against all odds, the filmmakers actually managed to create an interesting hook for the film in spite of that: demonic possession used as a metaphor for living with trauma and trying to find a way to move on.

This poor girl tries to escape her past and create a new life for herself. A new home, new friends, a whole new way of living. Yet despite her fervent desires to jettison her past and become someone new, she can never fully do it. The memories of her past and who she used to be (who she may always be), haunt her and terrorize her more than any demon ever could. Those are the parts that will stick with you long after the movie is over.

However, it often feels like the filmmakers created this interesting plotline on accident. They routinely try to keep shifting the focus of the movie back to exorcists and demons whenever possible. Instead of leaning into the whole horror-as-a-metaphor-for-trauma/grief/anxiety/etc. angle, the film tries to just use horror tropes straight and uncut. The result is that a film that could have been really unique is instead caused to repeatedly misfire into a cliche.

If you’re looking for a good scare I’d recommend you look elsewhere, because you are going to be disappointed. But if you just want to see a spooky movie that sticks its toe into originality (albeit briefly), then maybe give it a chance some lazy afternoon.

“Are you from a cult in the woods or something?”

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