This sequel is as irresponsible and negligent as a mental health professional (Dr. Tuskin) leaving a girl (Regan) that, according to her, might have suicidal tendencies hang around unsupervised in a rooftop. However, it's far from being the worst sequel or one of the worst movies ever made in general. It's recommended that those film critics watch more movies in their free time.
You have to know how to watch this film. I thought it was astonishing. Certainly not for the plot or the performances but most definitely for what was in Boorman's head. This is one of the most visually inspired movies I have ever seen. I thought of Fritz Lang in his German Expressionist days for comparison.
What's ridiculous about it (the campy thud of the dialogue and its delivery; the performances on the whole; the leaden yet nonsensical "plot") never meshes with what's sublime (the inventive artifice of many effects and much mise-en-scène; Morricone's music; some of the framings, movements, and lighting that add up to a deliriously riveting, DePalma-esque quality), but the latter makes it worth seeing at least once.
One of the most fascinating (and highly watchable) failures in the history of cinema. There are great ideas and noble intentions buried beneath the laughable dialogue, silly costumes, pseudo-science, and not-so-special effects, but these can be glimpsed only fleetingly. The rest of it is a mess only partially redeemed by the fact that the massive production budget apparently didn't include any bras for Linda Blair.
By no means a masterpiece but admirably bizarre and also misunderstood. Boorman is a filmmaker whose attitude and eccentricity are extensions of his artistry. He helmed the sequel to a major film that he hated as an excuse to make an absurd drama about metaphysics and hypnosis. I laugh while imagining Exorcist fans sitting in the theater, totally baffled / pissed. No one has the balls to do something like this today.
I feel like crying tears of joy that this sequel made it to wide release theaters 36 years ago with all of these different (yet compatible) personalities swimming inside. I think that I'm in love. I knew that I'd like it beforehand. I didn't know why, nor could I have expected how. This film feels possessed, its demons within pushing this way and that, to a dreamy but logical conclusion. Yes, I said logical.
You can watch this as a bad movie -- and it certainly IS ridiculous -- but there's a lot to like about it. The two best elements are the stunning score by Ennio Morricone and the gorgeous cinematography. No, it's nothing like the original. Exorcist II is pure eye and ear candy without anything of substance to stimulate you, but that's okay. Trash can be good!
A counter rather than a continuation, this film does not seek to shock, disgust or disturb. Free of the sadomasochism of much of the horror genre, including its proto-torture-porn predecessor, this is an expansive and densely peopled film that supports cooperation over conflict and refuses to celebrate death. Gorgeous and warm-hearted, it's sad that most are too close-minded to accept films made by and for heretics.