“Exorcist II: The Heretic” Review

19 January, 2017

Year of Release: 1977
Director: John Boorman
Screenwriter: William Goodhart
Director of Photography: William A. Fraker
Cast: Linda Blair, Richard Burton, Max von Sydow

Synopsis: Following on from the events in “The Exorcist,” a priest investigates the suspicious death of fellow clergyman Father Merrinseeking out the once-possessed Regan who is still suffering from the effects of her demonic encounter.

Exorcist 2 Review:

Arguably one of the most conceited and overambitious horror projects ever warbled into existence, “Exorcist II: The Heretic” is delivered in the same mismatched manner as the cheapest and most erratic of Italian horror movies, bearing little resemblance to the American classic upon which it is based and lacking any real thematic direction to allow for its overall weirdness. Made to feel more like “Poltergeist” meets “The Serpent and the Rainbow” than an authentic follow-up to William Friedkin’s terrifying original, the film’s cheap shooting style, bad dubbing, and awkward performances turn it into pure experimentation as the movie’s collage of unfinished and unpolished ideas, edits, and B-roll footage are puked out at an idling pace that drives the story into the ground from the moment it opens its mouth.

Like a concussed car crash survivor babbling to themselves about ‘Kokumo’ and ‘Pazuzu,’ “Exorcist II” makes little sense and it’s plagued by a screenplay that ironically sees a swarm of locusts stalking the lead cast. Bear in mind here that “Star Wars” hit cinemas less than a month before James Earl Jones was shown squatting in a mud hut dressed as a locust; a move that could’ve easily ended his career in one fell swoop had the film not been dismissed as just another John Boorman passion project.

“Exorcist II” is often remembered for its infamous telepathy sequence; a scene in which a post-pubescent Linda Blair is led into a hypnotic state while wearing a brainwave synchroniser. It’s in this moment that hilarity ensues, but never intentionally, as Louise Fletcher’s near-stroke while wearing her headband is presented with the utmost seriousness while Richard Burton attempts to rescue her from another realm. The chaos on the other side of the encounter is close to unwatchable and the second that Boorman starts superimposing flashback reconstructions over the action it becomes clear that it’s time to eject the disc and spare yourself from anymore of this nonsense.

 

   

Summary
Review Date
Movie
Exorcist II: The Heretic
Rating
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