A year since production was announced, the marketing machine for The Last Exorcism Part II is cranking up. Fearless of raising the demon of controversy that plagued the first film's campaign - the Advertising Standards Agency withdrew it in the UK - studio CBS is sticking with the contorted-girl-on-white-background aesthetic for the new poster. No blood this time though...
The shadow makes it a 2, but we're actually mostly seeing a question mark shape here. Appropriate, that, given the "huh?" reaction of many, that a film that had "last" in the title has spawned a sequel. There's a nice line in the official synopsis stating "The last exorcism was just the beginning..." That's bound to end up as a proper tagline eventually, but until then, Part II is just "The Second Coming."
The Empire Award-winning The Last Exorcism was a sleeper hit in 2010, presented as a documentary about well-meaning but charlatan exorcist Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) stumbling upon what seems to be a genuine posession. Things didn't go so well for Cotton after that.
Part II takes place three months after the first film (so hasn't taken the prequel route that some might have predicted) and involves the further tribulations of the demon-ised Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell), who now doesn't remember much of what happened to her. The company line is also that it'll be on a much larger scale than previously.
Ed Gass-Donnelly (who made the 2010 crime thriller Small Town Murder Songs, with Peter Stormare) replaces original director Daniel Stamm, but Eli Roth is still aboard as producer. The Last Exorcism Part II is out in the UK on March 15.