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Exorcist II: The Heretic More at IMDbPro »

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A Great Disappointment

Author: Uriah43 from Amarillo, Texas
4 April 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After her exorcism a few years earlier, "Regan" (Linda Blair) is undergoing counseling but still cannot remember what happened. So to examine the issue more closely her counselor "Dr. Gene Tuskin" (Louise Fletcher) recommends that she goes under a unique type of hypnosis in order to reveal more details to her. Meanwhile a priest by the name of "Father Philip Lamont" (Richard Burton) is sent to investigate her specific case and to report his findings to the "Cardinal" (played by Paul Henreid) in charge. As it so happens, Father Lamont manages to get there just in time to witness the hypnosis session. Unfortunately, something goes horribly wrong and Dr. Tuskin almost dies as a result. But even worse than that the session also brings the demon that possessed her back as well--and the nightmare returns all over again. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this film is an immediate sequel to one of the greatest horror movies ever produced so a great number of people had high expectations. Unfortunately, this film turned out to be a great disappointment due in large part to a weak script and some rather ridiculous scenarios--with the ending being downright laughable. In short, this movie just didn't measure up to its predecessor in any way, shape or form and I have rated it accordingly. Below average.

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Do Not Waste Your Money!!!

Author: adonis98-743-186503 from Greece
16 February 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A teenage girl once possessed by a demon finds that it still lurks within her. Meanwhile, a priest investigates the death of the girl's exorcist. Exorcist II: The Heretic suffers from what most horror sequels do which is a bad script and just the same old story all over again with things that make no sense and the whole Pazuzu thing bored me to death i mean seriously this film is really slow paced and for some reason actors such as James Earl Jones (Star Wars and Conan The Barbarian), Richard Burton and Louise Fletcher are in here for some reason which is probably the money. Overall Exorcist 2 is nowhere near as good as the first film or contains any of the horror that the original movie had plus the film is considered one of the worst sequels of all time and you can see why although nothing will ever beat "Nightmare on Elm Street 6" (3/10)

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A total and complete shame

Author: Filipe Neto from Portugal
14 February 2017

If "The Exorcist" is one of the best horror films ever, this sequel can be one of the worst. The story seeks to give logical continuity to the first film but ends up losing all logic. Linda Blair retakes the character who made her famous, but she's so stupid and shallow that we just do not recognize her. Next to her comes the veteran Richard Burton, in the role of an unconvincing Catholic priest. In fact, he was already drowned in alcoholism in the same way that Blair might no longer be unknown to drugs. There is no merit in the support cast, no use talking. The script should have been used as toilet paper before the movie was shot. Everything that could be stuck in the film ended up appearing, invariably ridiculous, forced and pitiful: from obvious allusions to the hippies (watch costumes, for example) to an absurd story involving an African tribe, not to mention that box with strobe lights which left the person hypnotized. To make the salad more complete only the aliens and medieval knights were lacking. Can we offer this film to Pazuzu, to see if he takes the movie away for good?

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A Bore of a misfire from the usually dependable John Boorman!

Author: talisencrw from Windsor, Ontario, Canada
7 October 2016

I have all the respect in the world for John Boorman--his 'Point Blank' and 'Deliverance' are excellent--but this sequel to one of the greatest horror movies ever made simply falls listless and flat. Of course, the script is extremely talky and lifeless--as if it had been 'exorcised' of all the wonder and shock that William Friedkin's vision of the battle of good vs. evil would entail. Yes, Sir Richard Burton was a great actor--yet when shoehorned with a crappy script and with his more irritating peccadilloes left unrestrained, he can be such a chore and bore to watch. Though I have not seen the two more recent 'prequels' for the 'Exorcist' franchise, I can safely say that while 'Exorcist II' is not the worst horror movie ever made (that, by the way, never seemed its intention), it's certainly the worst of the original trilogy--and by a country mile. This is a work that would probably bore the demons so much, they would decide to get out of Regan MacNeil's body, and perhaps even leave Earth's plane altogether, never even wanting a return ticket.

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Not Nearly As Bad As "They" Say...

Author: FlintleyBont from Brisbane, Australia
16 September 2016

"They" say "worst movie ever" but we all know there are plenty unwatchably bad movies - Exorcist II The Heretic is watchable and can be quite enjoyable, despite its problems. Yes, it is flawed, but I like it because it didn't try to simply echo the most excellent original Exorcist of 1973 - it tried something different.

It is eerie rather than scary, the plot moves in unexpected ways, (don't you hate predictable plots?), and the many African scenes were quite exotic and often bizarre. Richard Burton, though not at his peak, was still a pleasure to watch, and James Earl Jones was excellent as you would expect. The hallucinations experienced during the use of "The Synchronizer" were quite good fun (i.e. genuinely chilling at times) and though the final half hour seemed to lose focus somewhat it still did build up to a satisfying climax.

No, this is not a terrible film at all. It does not deserve the opprobrium it has received. Watch it with an open mind and it may just give you a thrill.

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how not to respect the audience and source material

Author: frankie-smales from United Kingdom
29 August 2016

this is what you get if you don't respect the source material by letting an different director having total control by not recapturing the brilliance of the previous film and not staying faithful in continuity and getting lost in the visuals where there was no narrative what so ever during the third act where they turned an 16 year old into a seductive madam of Sodom and Gomorrah that is off putting by seeing an vicar molesting an minor that felt insulting and the whole story and plot of this film felt flat from start to finish there is no redeeming quality about this film and this truly demonstrate of not respecting the source material or its fans of the original cult classic that's why my lower rating of 5 out of 10 .



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I felt cheated, if I'm honest, and I'm not the only one

Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
9 July 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Probably one of the most despised sequels in movie history, this bizarrity is worth a look if you've been avoiding it. Although overlong and sometimes dull, there are plenty of memorable images in this film which stand out. The film ventures into art territory many times, making it hard to sit through for more conventional viewers, but there are also some creepy/disturbing scenes to savour. The fact that I didn't really get into it is more a flaw with myself than with the film, and with the right attention I'm sure there are things to be gained from this. I didn't like it very much though.

The plot starts off typically, with Regan in therapy and the demon threatening to rear its ugly head again. A new priest gets involved in the case and hooks himself up in a mental link - via a machine called a synchroniser (you heard me right) - with Regan. From then on we're subjected to lots of scenes of natives singing and a recurring nightmare of a swarm of locusts descending out of the sky. The priest, Lamont, travels to Africa, but is shunned by the natives who stone him, believing him to be a devil-worshipping. He gradually becomes sucked in by the evil force which lies dominant and wills him to kill Regan. Finally, he fights back, and all hell breaks loose.

The visual composition of the film is more important than the actual storyline here, and so characters come and go as time goes on. Max Von Sydow, from the first film, appears in flashback as Father Merrin, exorcising a young boy healer in Africa. Ned Beatty appears as a pilot with a gigantic cross on his back, while James Earl Jones has the duel role of a native dressed as a giant locust - a god perhaps - and a kindly doctor. Linda Blair returns to the role which propelled her into stardom, and she has by now nearly reached adulthood - as can be clearly seen. Blair is fine as the investigative, inquiring girl, but is really given a supporting role, as is the good Louise Fletcher. The film belongs to Richard Burton - an ageing, profusely sweating actor who goes on a moral crusade from A to B and back again as the doubtful priest who fights Pazuzu to prove himself. On the way there's lots of mumbo jumbo.

Events pick up for an over-the-top climax, but by then we don't really care what happens anymore. There is some minor gore (hearts being torn out, spikes penetrating feet) but nothing comes close to the nauseating, sickening power of the original classic, although the scary demon makeup is used briefly a couple of times. If an effort is made to like this film, then I'm sure it will appear underrated, but it's an effort which I just simply wasn't willing to give - I felt both cheated and disappointed in this film, which was something I just wasn't expecting. Not bad; good on an artistic level... but as a horror film, it just doesn't work, as it's just TOO unconventional and, it has to be said, pretentious. Oh, there's a good score from Ennio Morricone which makes things a bit more bearable, on the plus side.

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this film is heretical

Author: RanchoTuVu from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
10 May 2016

Exorcist II the Heretic presents a vividly colorful travelrama to Africa in order to ascertain what exactly happened to Father Merrin (Max Von Sydow) of the original Exorcist. This version features a sort of anthropological element to arrive at the source of the evil demon that still lurks inside Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair). It's way out of the range of her well-intentioned psychiatric professional (Louise Fletcher), who employs a device known as a synchronizer that locks the two minds together in order to return to the room on the night Merrin dies. The Catholic cardinal Paul Henreid dispatches father Philip Lamont (Richard Burton) to finally close the case on this incident of demonic possession after a stunning opening to the movie in swirling visual detail that introduces the viewer to the style that somehow lifts this film to an unexepected level of borderline greatness for its overall bizarreness.

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Exorcist II: The Heretic (4/10)

Author: skybrick736 from Waconia, Minnesota
25 November 2015

Having a terrible stigma of being one of the worst follow ups to a horror classic, film critics and fans alike, have torn The Heretic apart for many years. Exorcist II does warrant this criticism but has some features done right by the director and producers. Let's start off by saying the film does have a poorly, mindless written plot along with a lot of the scenes being rather dull. The hypnosis machine and traveling within minds is a laughable and lazy attempt to add an "interesting" futuristic feel. Another fail is the scenes in Africa, which don't really make a whole lot of sense and add very little to Regan's story. Frightening moments and death scenes were very limited too.

With a hefty list of negative aspects to the film, one thing done right was casting previous major players, Linda Blair as Regan, Max von Sydow as Merrin, and Kitty Winn as Sharon. The lead roles of Louise Fletcher and Richard Burton were also solid additions and put forth a good character. Perhaps the biggest get was Ennio Morricone on the side of composing the film's music which was fantastic during the introduction's credits. All in all, the film was a below mediocre project to one of the most notorious horror films and should probably be skipped, as the first and third are better suited together.

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Exorcist II: The Heretic

Author: Jackson Booth-Millard from United Kingdom
17 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The original film is possibly the greatest scary movie of all time, the same cannot be said for the follow ups, I heard this first sequel was one of the worst films ever made, and yet critics give it three out of five stars, I watched to make up my own mind, from director John Boorman (Deliverance). Basically four years have passed since the events in Washington, D.C., and Regan MacNeill (Linda Blair), now fourteen years old, is living with guardian Sharon Spencer (Kitty Winn) while her mother is away filming, but she continually visits a psychiatric institute for troubled children. She claims to have no memory of what happened during her exorcism, and she seems to be normal, but she has nightmares, and Dr. Gene Tuskin (One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest's Louise Fletcher) who is monitoring her believes that her memories are repressed or buried within her mind. Dr. Tuskin has an invention to investigate this theory, a device that hypnotises two people and links their minds together, and slowly through doing this they find that the spirit of Pazuzu, the demon the possessed her, still lurks within her, and it is desperate to emerge once again and cause havoc. Father Philip Lamont (Richard Burton) has been ordered by the cardinal to investigate the death of Father Merrin (Max Von Sydow), who was killed during Regan's exorcism, Lamont reluctantly agrees and witnesses the workings of the device, listening to the doctor and young girl as they subconsciously return to that night when Merrin returned to room alone with Regan. Lamont feels unworthy of the task he has been given, as he believes evil is a literal entity and that this entity is winning over the power of good, but he comes to believe in the demonic forces, travelling to Africa and learning about Pazuzu's ability to appear as a swarm of locusts, but specifically that the demon attacks those who can heal others, Regan is able to telepathically reach others, for example helping an autistic girl to speak. Lamont slowly becomes frantic and more obsessive over these theories, and he knows that the only way to truly defeat the spirit within Regan is to return to the house in Georgetown, where the exorcism took place, it is there that Pazuzu unleashes evil, forcing the house to slowly crumble around him and Regan. In the end it is Regan that defeats Pazuzu, performing a ritual that banishes the locusts, Sharon is killed after a car crash in the flames, and while Regan and Lamont walk away together having survived the collapse of the house, Dr. Tuskin watches on remains there while the police gather and have questions to ask. Also starring Paul Henreid as The Cardinal, James Earl Jones as Older Kokumo and Ned Beatty as Edwards. Blair is still relatively likable as the innocent girl put through turmoil once again, thankfully not as harshly as before, Burton as the priest investigating past events does I agree he does overplay his lines a little, it is interesting to see Fletcher being nice as opposed to quietly evil like Nurse Ratched, and Jones gets his moment as the one who has most of the answers to the mythology. The problem I have with this sequel is that surely there should be more over the top material, this instead for most of the films bores you to death with chit chat about why possession occurs, talk about religious mythology, the ways the demon appears, and flashes back in time, it is only near the end the explosive stuff happens, you might as well ignore this sequel entirely and just stick with the masterpiece original (don't bother with the prequel The Beginning either), a disappointing horror film. Adequate!

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