Exorcist 2: The Heretic (1977)
Starring: Louise Fletcher, Richard Burton, Linda Blair, James Earl Jones, Kitty Wyn, Max Von Sydow
Directed by: John Boorman
A priest (Burton) investigates the death of Father Merrin (Von Sydow), who died during the exorcism of the first movie. Meanwhile, the demons seem to return to Reagan McNeil (Blair)…..and it all starts to get very strange indeed.
A mighty impressive cast and an accomplished director come together in a sequel to a horror blockbuster. Sounds good doesn’t it? well, it’s not.
In fairness, the movie does try to be original and isn’t simply a rehash of the first movie – there are no rotating heads, crucifix-masterbation scenes or anything akin to the horrors of Billy Friedkin’s 1973 original – but obviously somewhere along the way of trying to be both original and intelligible, cast and crew got very lost indeed. The movie suffers from diabolical scripting which hampers the whole picture – the viewer is left at the end of the film wondering what in god’s name has been going on. Moreover, the cast have a nightmare: Burton is hammy, Fletcher is flat, James Earl Jones is camp and Von Sydow appears for all but a few seconds.
The only real positive is the cinematography; there are some fantastic shots of African crop fields and tribesmen. Although, it has to be said, such shots are better-placed in a David Attenborough documentary rather than in a horror movie. No-one found ‘Life on Earth’ spine-chilling now did they. (You may also be wondering what african corn fields have to do with religious terror and rightly so; but having seen the movie numerous times, I still couldn’t tell you…..).
Unfortunately, a very lame attempt – and to make matters worse it’s not even scary. If you want a sequel to the exorcist, go for Exorcist 3, which is a much better effort.
hotdog rating: 3/10