Exorcist II: The Heretic
It's four years later... what does she remember?
Bizarre nightmares plague Regan MacNeil four years after her possession and exorcism. Has the demon returned? And if so, can the combined faith and knowledge of a Vatican investigator and a hypnotic research specialist free her from its grasp?
As a sequel to The Exorcist? - Yes, it's a dismal failure.
Viewed as a stand-alone, loopy, mystical/sci-fi/horror hybrid dragged along by a manic Richard Burton performance? - It's actually quite fun.
Somehow I missed out on(avoided...) seeing this until very recently, but finally got my opportunity to view it on the big screen as part of the BFI's John Boorman retrospective.
Seen in a Boorman context alongside the likes of 'Excalibur' and 'Zardoz', it made a lot more sense to me than as a direct sequel to 'The Exorcist'.
I also think that my expectations had been dragged so low due to constant critical derision over the years, that anything - at least - watchable would've impressed somewhat.
What I found was a flawed, but entertaining oddity.
Listen, John Boorman:
You made Deliverance, you made Hell in the Pacific (yeah! Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune, that's right), you made Point fucking Blank.
What the fuck, man?
…is... is everything okay at home?
I want to like this movie so, so badly. It's exactly the kind of universally-maligned but quality-pedigreed film I often respond to, but there is just too much drudgery mixed in with the moments of refreshing batshit insanity for me to give it my endorsement. Maybe one day it will click with me, but until then I'm going to have to keep going deeper.
This sequel is considered by most to be the worst in the entire series, and saying that when it's up against the likes of "The Beginning" is a pretty damning statement.
It is however very true.
Minus both Blatty and Friedkin, the heretic is a non descript affair- taking us to Africa to uncover the roots of Reagan McNeil's possession, and ultimately back to the house where it all began. Director John Boorman, oddly enough passing on the original Exorcist because he found the story "repulsive" lacks any of the energy that Friedkin brought to the table, listlessly plodding along through a series of hypnotisms and flashbacks as we bounce back and forth between the states and Africa.
The December Challenge: Film 4
Linda Blair once remarked that Exorcist II: The Heretic was “one of the biggest disappointments of (her) career”. Now, considering this is from a woman who saw her popularity plummet in the early eighties after being charged with conspiracy to deal drugs, that is a pretty savage indictment of one of the most pointless and inexcusably rotten sequels ever made. Set four years after the original movie, a movie that is rightly hailed as one of the greatest horror movies of all time, Exorcist II is the prime example of a film that tries its best to emulate the success of what went before it but fails at pretty much every single turn. Terribly…
Burton. Blair. Bugs. Not the roller coaster of thrills the first film was, but so craftily conceived that it doesn't need to be - take a zen ride on the wings of the locust, let them brush your mind and you will never be the same. A meditation on good, evil, and Richard Burton's massive alcoholism. Also Scientology and/or Twitter. I might (definitely) be in the minority on this one, but that usually just means I'm right.
This movie is bananas insane. At times, it flirts with being bananas insane in a good way, (like Amityville 2) but it mostly does it in a pretty bad and boring way. The end's briefly awesome, though, and there a couple of scenes sprinkled in there that are okay.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
It had its moments, but other than those moments, I had no idea what was going on.
AYAYAYAAAAA YAAAAYAAAAA YAAA TE TAAA hueea hueea HUEEE HUUUAWHAOOOH WHOOAAAHOH TETATETATETATETATETA hueeeeee HUE hueeeeeee HUE hueeeeee HUE TAAAA YE TEYA YE TEYA TA HUEAH HUEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH TETATETATETATETATE KE KE KE KE KE KE KE KE
No, I'm not crazy, that is in Exorcist II: The Heretic. What a boring, surreal, silly and bad film. Making a sequel to the original film already seems like a stretch, yet they somehow made it, and it's one of the most bizarre films I've ever seen. It's a giant misfire, there's no denying about that, but I don't think it isn't without merit. The acting is actually pretty good (which is to be expected with that much…
What a colossal mess.
Certainly not as good as the original but still entertaining on it's own.
I had only seen this once before and had totally forgot everything that happened. I knew it had a reputation for being horrible but I tried going in with an open mind. I was enjoying it for a little while but that didn't last. It's just too long, boring and doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
If you ask, "what the hell would a sequel to THE EXORCIST even be about?", don't worry, EXORCIST II is asking that as well. It's amazing, there isn't a single scene that isn't completely contrived, constantly complimenting the previous film while "expanding" the mythology in truly baffling, unnecessary directions via endless exposition. A scare-free two-hour odyssey of predictable turns and African locusts.
The best-best scene of the movie uses some clever cross-dissolves to blend a scene from the past with one from the present. The film is full of smart editing choices that are quite brilliant on their own but can't quite save the story.
The worst-best scene of the movie features our terribly generic priest passed out in what…
This is bug nuts. Literally. The locusts that carry the demon from Africa to Georgetown are all over this movie. Hell, we even get some POV shots. Also, the lip service about science and faith being brought together with some new age hypnosis is laughable. Regan tap dancing her way to become a flower child messiah... I don't know how much I laughed during this, but it was a lot.