If it's crap ... We'll tell you
The sequel to the 2010 Eli Roth-produced/Daniel Stamm-directed, found-footage horror flick 'The Last Exorcism' is under way. The followup to the story of a faithless preacher confronted with true evil during his final exorcism will reportedly take place three months after the events of the first film, though nothing more about the plot has been confirmed. What has been confirmed is that Ashley Bell, the actress who played the possessed young girl from the first film, will be reprising her role for the sequel. Director Stamm however will not be returning; this outing being helmed by Ed Gass-Donnelly ('This Beautiful City'). The sequel will carry an R-rating, a departure from the PG-13 earned by the first. Production is set to begin in New Orleans next month and is due for release sometime later this year. Here's what Roth had to say about the project...
"Obviously with the title of the first one we had not planned on a sequel, but we love the story and subject matter and had what we feel is an inspired idea to continue it. As you can see from other recent films, fans around the world are fascinated by this subject matter, and we want to go deeper and darker this time."
I actually believe Eli Roth when he says that it was never the intention of anyone involved to make a sequel to 'The Last Exorcism,' otherwise they would have called it 'The Penultimate Exorcism' or 'One of the Last Exorcisms.' But given the fact that the first one made $70 million worldwide off a $1.5 million dollar budget, it's not surprising that plans have changed. Roth also cites "other recent films" as proof that fans are still interested in exorcism movies. By "other recent films," he clearly means 'The Devil Inside,' which was also an enormous box office smash despite its meager budget. Hopefully however, 'The Last Exorcism' sequel will shoot for at least moderately higher quality. I thoroughly enjoyed the first one. I loved the idea of a preacher intentionally performing fake exorcisms who brings a camera crew along to document what a sham they are...only to have the real deal pop up on his last outing. While I don't think 'The Last Exorcism' was hindered by its PG-13 rating, it'll be interesting to see where they take the sequel given its more extreme rating. Ashley Bell did a fantastic job as the unfortunate demon vessel so it's pretty cool that they got her back. I do not, however, feel this story needs to continue and, without spoiling anything, I can't imagine where they would/could take the plot from here. But, as always, time will tell on this one.