PURCHASE                      INSTANT VIDEO

Rotten Tomatoes gives THE LAST EXORCISM PART II a Tomatometer reading of 16%. I don’t get it. My wife and I watched it last night and were both suitably impressed with it. So much so that I can’t even understand what the critics gripes were. It’s a well-made film with an engaging cast and story. 

I even enjoyed it more than the original which I liked quite a bit and felt is one of the better found footage movies (RT gives it a 72% rating). 

PART II dispenses with the first-person camera perspective and presents itself in a more formalistic style. Picking up where the last one ended, we get a truly unique and unsettling opening sequence before the movie settles in with the main story. 

Nell (Ashley Bell) has escaped the clutches of the satanic cult and now lives in a halfway house to try to readjust to society. She’s deeply scarred by her past (what she can remember) and she’s barely equipped to deal with normal society due to her previous life of seclusion. 

She makes the best of it but is soon haunted by mysterious watchers as well as spectral visions. When people start dying she must rely on the help of strangers who may or may not have her best interests in mind. 

Not exactly recalling the events of the first film 100% (I had seen it a while ago), the sequel practically stands as its own film without needing to see the first one. I also thought the casting was great. Filled with mostly unknowns, they all felt authentic and real especially Ashley Bell who carries the film. 

PART II has its requisite “boo" scares, which I generally hate, but it certainly earns its horror stripes as a great slow-burn horror story with some generally creepy moments and some nice instances of actual dread. 

As I said before, I’m baffled why the critics and fans hated this movie. It is definitely an above-average horror film and one of the better I’ve seen in a long time.

JANUARY 3, 2014