EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC (1977)
Article #1176 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-3-2004
Posting Date: 10-31-2004
Directed by John Boorman
Featuring Linda Blair, Richard Burton, Louise Fletcher
A priest investigates the death of Father Merrin, and discovers more about the nature of the demon that possessed Regan MacNeil.
In some ways, I really admire what this movie was trying to do, and that was to not merely repeat the formula of the first movie. Unfortunately, it fails to really find a coherent story of its own, and despite some flashy special effects at times, this mixture of exorcism, African demons, locusts and hypnotic gadgets never really gels into anything solid; the movie remains vague, unfocused, and quite unscary. One of the big problems I have with the movie is the acting, particularly from the three leads. Richard Burton does all right half the time, but the rest of the time he seems twitchy and confused. Louise Fletcher appears to be bored out of her skull for most of the movie. The worst problem, though, is Linda Blair; whereas in the first movie she was largely a vehicle for the special effects, here she is required to have a fully developed and complex character, and she just doesn’t deliver. Every time the camera gives her a close-up, I can’t read any emotions in her face whatsoever, and as a viewer, it left me completely frustrated. And whoever thought it would be scary to have evil manifest itself as a plague of locusts should sit down and watch THE BEGINNING OF THE END sometime and find out just how unscary grasshoppers are.