Dr. Gene Tuskin works with troubled children, perhaps none more troubled than Regan MacNeil, who suffers from bad dreams and repressed memories. The memories she represses are of the time she was possessed by a demon. Dr. Tuskin's invention, a device that hypnotizes two persons and links their minds together, reveals that the demon, named Pazuzu, still lurks within her. It is desperate to emerge again and wreak havoc. Meanwhile, Father Philip Lamont is ordered by his cardinal to investigate the death of Father Merrin, the priest who died while performing an exorcism on Regan. Father Lamont undertakes his task reluctantly. He feels unworthy of his assignment. He also feels that Evil is literally an entity and that this entity is winning the battle over Good. His investigation takes him to Africa where he locates another recipient of Merrin's exorcising and learns something fascinating and terrible about locusts. Written by
Poor John Boorman. He has all these great ideas, but whenever he tries to put them to the screen, the result is so damn goofy you can't tell whether you're watching a metaphysical drama or a slapstick comedy (for more on this, see "Zardoz"). His "Exorcist" sequel is miles below the original if you're looking for scares, but miles above it in terms of actual storytelling, plot, character development, etc. It's full of interesting ideas (the most interesting being the idea of pure goodness as a magnet for evil), and Regan turns into an angelic heroine out to stop the demon that once possessed her. But Boorman's wacko imagery, while fascinating in places (the doves, the locusts), tends to get a little TOO wacko, to the point where you can't help laughing (the hypnosis machine, Richard Burton putting out a fire with a wooden crutch, James Earl Jones spitting up a tomato).
If you can accept the fact that this is a completely different movie than the original, you might find that it's a pretty good movie on its own. Fantastic acting from Burton, a wonderful score, and some truly gorgeous visuals, especially the climactic scene in the house, make it one of the most underrated movies of all time. Even if some scenes leave you falling over with laughter.
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