Coming off of 'The Scariest Movie of All Time,' it would seem that a sequel to THE EXORCIST would be rather straightforward -- a new demon, a new child, another exorcism -- but somewhere, somehow, things went horribly, horribly wrong. Screenwriter William Goodhart and director John Boorman instead decide take us on their own confusing journey of faith, discovery, and sacrifice.
Regan MacNeil has grown up to become a normal teenager, with no recollection of the terrible possession that befell her just four years earlier. Her psychologist is convinced that Regan is repressing the memories of the events, and that she could easily fall under the influence of the demon once again. Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic Church has sent a priest out to investigate the death of Father Merrin, which leads him to Regan. Using a hypnotic "synchronizer" that links his mind with hers, Father Lamont comes in contact with the demon Pazuzu, who takes him on a trip through time and space to meet another boy he had once possessed. Lamont seeks out Kokumo in Africa and learns that he, too, had rejected the demon, only to become the savior of his people. Now armed with the knowledge needed to save Regan's soul, Father Lamont returns to Georgetown for a final showdown with Pazuzu!
EXORCIST II really is a test of faith, but one taken by the audience. Disbelief must be suspended from the highest peak in order for anyone to accept the preposterous plot, which blends pseudo-science with religious mumbo jumbo. Richard Burton, a seven-time Oscar-nominee, is made to look like a fool as the deranged Father Lamont, who quickly becomes fascinated by the demon he looks to destroy. He often rambles like a psychotic, and makes for a terrible lead when he cannot be trusted by the audience. It is impossible to take Linda Blair seriously, either, when she is forced to go cross-eyed and act brain-dead during the ridiculous "synchronization" experiments. Thankfully, the special effects, cinematography, and incredible locations far outweigh the strength of the script, but EXORCIST II is still widely criticized as being one of the worst sequels in the genre.