Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Film Review: The Last Exorcism Part 2 (2013)

The Last Exorcism Part 2 (Review)
United States/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"I suppose it only lands in one genre: boring."

Immediately following the events of the first film, Nell (Ashley Bell) is found in a feral state by an oblivious couple. Nell is sent to a home for girls to start a new life, but finds herself haunted by her past...

The Last Exorcism Part 2 is a very simple film. The story follows Nell as she begins to live her new life. She makes friends with her roommates, gets a job as a maid at a hotel, develops a romance with a coworker, and so on. While she lives this fairly dull life, Nell also sees and hears some peculiar things — like people following her or her name spoken over the radio. That's about everything that happens in this film — everything. She goes on a date, something happens, then on to the next day — it's uneventful, really. It leads to the last exorcism (maybe) and wraps up with a decent ending — telling you what it reminded me of would spoil it, so I digress.

The Last Exorcism Part 2 isn't necessarily a poorly made film. In most cases, it's worse than that: it's a boring film. The story has some interesting ideas and plot points, but it never embraces them because it is too busy showing us Nell's dreadfully boring life. In fact, I finished watching this film 15 minutes ago and I've already forgotten most of it. It does not leave an impression until the end — and even the ending has its fair share of flaws. This feels like a short film stretched out to reach a feature-length runtime. This leaves us with a slow pace and a bloated runtime — a dreadful concoction for boredom. This is one of the few film that made my eyelids heavy from exhaustion because I did not care for the hollow characters or uneventful plot. As for the horror, you probably already guessed it: it consists of 90% random jump-scares.

The acting is decent — I didn't hate it. I thought the supporting cast was good. I felt Ashley Bell, our leading lady, was overdone — her performance felt overacted, her reactions were too aware. This film drops the found-footage style. The cinematography isn't eye-catching, but at least it's more tolerable than the dreadful shaky/malfunctioning cam. Like the bulk of the plot, the music was mostly forgettable. Director and co-writer Ed Gass-Donnelly isn't bad per se, but he's severely lacking in the suspense and originality departments. Writing with Gass-Donnelly, Damien Chazelle's writing suffers from too much filler and a lack of character — everything feels underdeveloped.

Overall, The Last Exorcism Part 2 is a boring film. It's not a technically terrible film — the acting was decent, for example — but it completely fails to leave an impression. It's not frightening, so it's hard to call it a horror film. Its characters are dull and the plot is flimsy, so it's hard to call it a drama. I suppose it only lands in one genre: boring. I don't recommend it, unless you're having trouble sleeping.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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