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Exorcist II: The Heretic
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Reviews & Ratings for
Exorcist II: The Heretic More at IMDbPro »

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Funnier than Repossessed

Author: Ali_Mac from UK
7 January 2002

This turkey is full of gems for fans of bad movies. To be fair, they didn't just try to do a re-hash of the first film, attempting instead to tell of Father Merrin's original encounter with the demon. Unfortunately the result is an incoherent mess.

The film consists of long boring hypnosis scenes and the equally mind-numbing African shots. But there is still a feast of bad acting to enjoy, with Linda Blair and Kitty Winn giving abysmal performances. But even they are overshadowed by Richard Burton's hammy efforts. The script is ludicrous, and the cheesy theme music that wafts through the film would not be out of place in the Emmanuelle movies.

After a couple of hours with nothing even remotely suspenseful or scary happening, we are treated to a 'what the hell was that all about' ending. One of the best bad movies ever.

Favourite scene - Fr. Lamont's fire-fighting efforts in the basement - priceless.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

"What am I up against, Father?"

Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
14 January 2001

"Eeee-villl" says Richard Burton, unconvincingly cast as a conflicted Man of the Cloth in this follow-up to 1973's "The Exorcist". He attempts to purge mind demons from possession-survivor Regan (a vaguely distraught Linda Blair). Louise Fletcher (as Dr. Tuskin, Regan's therapist) and Kitty Winn (returning from the original as Regan's guardian, Sharon) are both mediocre, but Burton surely fares the worst; unsuccessfully hiding his embarrassment behind a staunchly theatrical mask, his readings seem conformed to reach the high balconies, and his over-enunciation seems peculiar in these surroundings--he's angry when he shouldn't be, and vice-versa. It's been said that this film cost Burton the Oscar for "Equus" (released the same year). Perhaps it was the troubled production (the constant rewrites, and director John Boorman suddenly taking ill) that tripped up the actors. Blair doesn't thrive; she keeps her poise but stays aloof from the proceedings (she's also a grown-up young woman who seems to be playing down her age, for a 'cute' effect). Boorman had a vision here, but damned if anyone could figure out what it was. William Goodhart's screenplay makes an attempt to show that great goodness can be a magnet for evil (they are helplessly intertwined), and that Regan was possessed by the demon Pazuzu because she is a healer. Unfortunately, none of this makes for a scary thriller. The film is heavy-handed, "metaphysical" and occasionally awkward and/or unintentionally funny (when Burton goes into synch to reach Dr. Tuskin, everyone is frantic because she's breathing abnormally, so what does the assistant tell Burton? "Relax deeply!"). Boorman's original version (butchered after disastrous early showings) eschews Burton's opening narration and begins inside the Mexican church (not outside near the steps); it also features a corny but satisfying final tag involving Sharon and Dr. Tuskin in Georgetown. ** from ****

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

I'm glad I'm not alone in liking this film...

Author: Mudflap
21 February 1999

Yes, in some ways this film is flawed, but I really maintain that the reason why it is so disliked is because it is not understood. By no account does it measure up to it's predecessor, but had to watch it several times until I understood it - I liked it more and more each time I watched it. Give it a second chance on a cheap rental night.

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

the original, I swear

Author: David Stevens from United States
28 December 2006

I have seen all three of the Exorcist movies, now, and have seen the Exorcism of Emily Rose. I can say that exorcist is the original making of Emily Rose. The second movie was based on an actual event. Unfortunately they were also trying for a sequel to Linda's original. Anneliese Michel, the lady the Emily Rose was based on, was a German college student and died in 76. The Exorcist 2 was made, or finished in, 77. The plots to the two movies are so similar in ways it is not funny. The character of the person who was watching Reagan, I believe, represented the trial and jury. Metaphors can be an amazing thing. Yes, I think that this movie could have actually followed the life story of Anneliese Michel a bit better, but it would have strayed from The Exorcist thesis.

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

The worst film of all time

Author: Dr Jass from Alloa, Scotland
14 June 1999

I've never been so bored in my entire life as when I was forced to watch this film. Even if you manage to forget that it's the sequel to one of the greatest horror films, this is a real stinker.

It's hard to even describe the plot for this, although that may just be due to the fact that I was struggling to stay awake. Suffice to say that it doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense, and isn't very interesting either. All actors involved appear to be sleepwalking, with Richard Burton's performance being particularly funny.

I can't find anything to recommend about this at all, and I'm fairly liberal when it comes to bad films, and can usually find SOMETHING worth seeing about them. Not in this case.

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13 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

insane ridiculous fun

Author: jinx_malone from United States
31 October 2004

if you're looking for a scary movie, don't look here. john boorman didn't even like the original film--he found it to be too dark and depressing--which makes one wonder why warner bros. hired him for the job in the first place.

you WILL see such astounding sights as famed hack richard burton ferociously chewing his way through every scene, spitting out hunks of set as he goes on his merry way; linda blair pitching a fit while doing a dazzling tap-dance number, complete with sequined top hats; louise fletcher and her über-ridiculous brain synchronization machine, which has a nice big lightbulb on it, and flashy LED's attached; tricky dick and sultry pazuzu/linda bouncing around on a big bed together (golly!) as he tries to rip out her eeeeevil heart; and the big finale, in which lovely linda, the living embodiment of all that is good and pure on this earth (sniff) does a ritual (another dance routine?) in order to cleanse washington d.c. of all the nasty locusts that have descended upon it.

kokumo will help you find pazuzu! keep it mind!

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18 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Is it that bad? Yes!!!

Author: guyfromjerzee from United States
26 November 2004

I'm always more curious to see the movies that are unanimously panned by critics and audiences alike, because half of the time I end up finding out that these movies aren't that bad. "The Exorcist II" is not one of those movies. It really is 180 degrees from its suspenseful predecessor. I've read reviews from critics that hated Richard Burton's performance, saying that he was awfully over-the-top. I actually feel that Burton's performance is one of the film's strong points. Despite the goofy plot, he maintains a straight face. And after reading that he was drunk during part of the shoot, it's pretty impressive that he can deliver such a convincing performance. The rest of the cast is good as well. Linda Blair looks cute as a button. But at nearly two hours, the movie goes on way too long. What else can I say? This movie is just plain dull! I stopped following the plot after a while, not because it got too complicated, but because I didn't care anymore. Let's just say that I just finished watching the movie a couple days ago, and it's already on sale on That alone shows you how much I appreciate this movie. (3 out of 10)

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: Kirpianuscus from Romania
17 May 2016

a strange film. for its splendid cinematography and the rediscover of a Babylonian demon. for the performance of Richard Burton. for the fascinating ideas presented in not the most inspired manner. for the error to define it as the second part of the Exorcist. and for the sin of director to use that mistake . a film of the force of the good side of a person, it is an interesting religious film. not a horror but a trip in the heart of old believes and the need to redefine the truth. a film about seduction of evil and need to understand it. and that does the Heretic a real good film. not the exorcism, not the search of father Lamond to analyze an exorcism case. but the desire to assume the truth. for save a soul as part of personal salvation. the message and few extraordinary images. and a subtle message. ingredients who defines a film who, in a special manner, could be define as better by the Exorcist.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Time will do this film justice

Author: enriquedominguez
14 May 2015

The fact that so many pulled no punches against this very good film at its premiere –as some still do, speaks volumes about our unjustified preconceptions and expectations, dictated by media, marketing and perceptual bias.

This reminds me of other equally unjustified cases from film makers and/or franchises that tend to create the same kind of expectations in some of us. It happened with the sequels to the Matrix, which are both excellent, and also with practically every film by M. Night Shyamalan after The Sixth Sense.

As long as some audiences impair their own sensibilities by prioritizing comparisons of books, music pieces or films instead of fostering their own ability to appreciate a work of art on its own, the message delivered by the work will go over their heads and be lost.

Fortunately, time can heal generational misconceptions. Boorman is a very good director, and this is a film rich in imagery, philosophy, and thought-provoking themes. That they were able to create it even after going through what was obviously a bumpy production process makes it perhaps even more valuable.

Of course the film is not technically perfect, due precisely to those difficulties. But you can tell when something comes from the heart because that doesn't matter at all.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Additional Comment

Author: Christopher T. Chase ( from Arlington, VA.
5 January 2001

If you can find it, there is an out-of-print paperback written by Barbara Goodhart, the wife of screenwriter William Goodhart, that might provide a little more insight into the reasons why the movie wound up in the shape it did. The name of the book is, not surprisingly enough, THE MAKING OF EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC, originally published by Warner Books.

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