The Last Exorcism Part II: Electric Boogaloo

movie reviews

It is a genuine shame that there’s a lag between the time a movie is released and the time the RiffTrax for that movie is released. Because if there was ever a movie deserving of such immediate attentions, it is The Last Exorcism Part II.

The movie opens up where it left off- literally. Like a serialized TV show, it begins with a confusing montage of the first film. During this last-week-on-The-Last-Exorcism nonsense, I realized that (with the exception of a giant CG fire demon) I had almost no memory of the first film at all. That probably was a good thing, though. Nell is trying to get over all that shit now; there’s no sense in me drudging up the past.

So Nell has moved into a halfway house for friendly teenage girls in a G-rated re-imagining of New Orleans during Mardi Gras. She’s exploring the world with new eyes since her whole town ate it in a big way at the close of the last film. Unfortunately for her, Abalam, her demonic admirer, is totes still into her and is trying to bring her back over to the dark side.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a movie with a higher number of cheap scares. I reckon it averaged close to four per minute. Every time Nell turned around, a window was breaking, someone was screaming, a car was exploding, or a door was being shut rather too firmly. It was nerve-wracking at first, but it quickly grew to be hilarious. I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. For serious. One of the scares was a gorilla throwing a tire. That’s a spoiler. I’m not even kidding.

There was a strange anti-pagan subtext to the movie. It was very obvious that Nell was exploring this world her father had so carefully protected her from and was turning against everything she knew in the process. Her clothing became more revealing, she stopped wearing her crucifix necklace, and she started kissing boys. She decides that Abalam wasn’t actually real and kind of turns her back on Christianity. When her problems don’t go away, she receives some help from some kind voodoo practitioners, but that doesn’t turn out so well, either. The confusing thing was that it seemed as though the movie was simultaneously pro-Christianity and anti-Christianity. I’d say it was a commentary on the futility of organized religion in dealing with spiritual problems, but it wasn’t. It was just confusing.

So why did I see it? Well, I landed some pre-screener tickets to the new Evil Dead remake, but, even though I waited in line for an hour, the theater reached capacity before I got in. It was either go big or go home. I chose the former. You should, too. The Last Exorcism Part II is a must-see, but not for any of the reasons its creators intended.

My 2010 Top Ten Halloween Movie List

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1. Evil Dead II

The quintessential Halloween movie. It’s got everything: possessed hands, chainsaws, gallons and gallons of blood. Evil Dead II is a masterpiece of horror comedy.

2. Trick ‘r Treat

It’s creepy as hell. So many dead kids…

3. Pumpkinhead

If you’re going to kill a man’s son, make sure you do it in a town without a pumpkin patch.

4. Hellraiser

Celebrate your hedonism! Celebrate it!

5. Dead Alive

Stop motion rat monkeys and the single greatest zombie death scene in the history of the world.

6. Slither

A new classic. You’ll never take a bath again.

7. Dawn of the Dead

This remake of Romero’s classic is creepy and fun. Influenced zombie growls like no other movie in recent history.

8. Let the Right One In

The only reason this isn’t higher up on the list is because it makes me feel cold. It is scary as hell and so well done, you won’t believe it’s a horror movie. The new American version can suck it.

9. Orphan

You might see it coming, but you still won’t be prepared.

10. The Lost Boys

Halloween ain’t Halloween without a little camp. And the Frog brothers.

[Rec]

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One sentence plot synopsis: A group of unknowing people is quarantined in an apartment building which, unfortunately for them, is the ground zero site of a zombie outbreak.

Sound familiar? It should. The 2008 film Quarantine was a remake of this Spanish horror flick. And, like most American remakes, it tried to do too much. In contrast, [Rec] does more with less. Lower budget, fewer effects. But the result is something masterful. Utilizing the first person style rendered comical by the Blair Witch Project, Balaguero and Plaza have done something innovative and interesting with subjects and means that have become rather boring in recent history.

If you’ve yet to see Quarantine, I recommend you skip it in favor of the original which is, in my opinion, both scarier and more satisfying.

Beaujolais Nouveau and Brie

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After finishing up Lost Boys: The Thirst, I thought my night couldn’t get any better. Watching Corey Feldman as the epic Edgar Frog was enough to move my night from okay to fantastic. I was quite pleased with this film, as it represented an excellent progression in the Lost Boys franchise. There was more badassery than ever, including a holy water grenade launcher and the most epic vampire death sequence in the history of the world.

Needless to say, I climbed into bed with my head swimming. I flicked on the television, hoping for a little something to help bring my excitement down a bit and what do I find? Suburban fucking Commando.

If you have not seen this 1991 sci-fi gem, you really must. I insist. Hulk Hogan in his prime, kicking asses and…well….mostly just kicking asses. But in a space suit.

Never before have I known two films to go so well together so unexpectedly.

The Room

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The Room

Sometimes I get pissed off. It happens. But sometimes the reason for my anger makes me regret the way I’ve lived my life up to that point. This is one of those times. Prior to last Saturday, I had no idea that this film existed. Because of this, I have missed out on so much that is now of the utmost importance in my life.

This movie is an experience. When we walked in, we were offered fistfuls of plastic spoons. Our quizzical looks were answered only with a “you’ll know what to do” explanation. And that reasoning was on the money. I now know why god invented such wasteful, environmentally damaging products: to fling at theater screens. My thanks go out to the gentlemen in the back, who, in addition to being able to spot framed photos of cutlery from miles away, were well versed in the art of heckling. Bravo, Sirs.

The plot follows the romantic entanglement of a group of folks, some friends, some not so much. And then there’s Denny. Hi Denny. Its scenes are probably the most dramatic ones I’ve ever witnessed. Its themes the most profound.

If it ever comes back to town…so help me god.