From the people who gave us “The Never Ending Story II: The Next Chapter” …
Sorry, couldn’t resist.
“The Last Exorcism Part II,” out this March, follows the haunted young woman from the 2010 chiller as she learns demonic forces aren’t done with her yet. That feature, despite a lackluster final, leveraged the faux documentary format better than most horror films.
The sequel carries on without Patrick Fabian’s signature scam artist, but poor Nell (Ashley Bell) is still having a devil of a time escaping her past.
Bell’s character returns to New Orleans but can’t remember much about the catastrophic events documented in the first film. She starts making headway toward a new life when the evil forces that once swirled around her return for more.
The new film abandons the found footage approach (good) and gives Bell more screen time to show off her ability to contort her body in ways that seem awfully painful. Bell is the main reason to be enthusiastic for this sequel. Her initial performance gave “The Last Exorcism” an emotional center, and amplifying her role here makes good sense.
Still, the trailer traffics in the standard spooky effects that we’ve come to know and roll our eyes over, and the relatively slim exorcism genre continues to live in the shadow of the granddaddy of them all, “The Exorcist.”