The film follows Nell Sweetzer as she attempts to recover from her past experiences and start her life anew. Nell then starts to realize that the demon that previously possessed her has come back for her. Unlike its predecessor, it is not presented in a found footage format. The film received generally negative reviews compared to the first film but was a box office success nonetheless.
A couple, Jared (Judd Lormand) and Lily (Boyana Balta), finds a demonic-looking Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell) squatting next to their refrigerator. She soon is taken to a hospital, where she appears to be catatonic. After spending a few months at the insightful and caring therapist Frank's (Muse Watson) home for girls in New Orleans and settling in as a chambermaid at a hotel under the supervision of her boss Beverly (Diva Tyler), Nell's condition seems to have improved and she no longer has "bad dreams". Nell and her group of friends Gwen (Julia Garner), Daphne (Erica Michelle), and Monique (Sharice Angelle Williams) attend a Mardi Gras parade; Nell witnesses many strange happenings there, including masked men watching her. Her personality changes as things get darker. She begins to get hints that the demon Abalam is back.
When Stephanie (Raeden Greer), one of the girls at the house, dies of an unnatural seizure, Cecile (Tarra Riggs), Nell's former nurse, informs her of the Order of the Right Hand, a secret society which has been monitoring Nell. Nell's friends Gwen, Daphne, Monique, and Michelle (Ashlynn Ross) discover a video on YouTube which depicts the events from the previous film revealing that the lost footage has been discovered; this frightens and angers Nell as she becomes a reluctant internet celebrity because of the video. Chris (Spencer Treat Clark), another worker at the hotel who likes Nell, slits his own throat after viewing a clip from the same footage which depicts Nell lying about how she got pregnant. Cecile seeks help from the Order of the Right Hand, and Nell is introduced to Calder (David Jensen) and Jeffrey (E. Roger Mitchell). They attempt to rid the demon which is "in love" with Nell by transferring it into the body of a sacrificed chicken. The supernatural force in Nell proves to be too powerful, and Calder is forced to kill her by injecting her with a lethal dose of morphine.
The demon appears in front of Nell, taking her appearance as a doppelganger, her father, and Chris, and begs her to accept its hand. Nell's pulse stops temporarily and leads Calder, Jeffrey, and Cecile, to believe that she has died. She finally gives in and grabs the demon's hand; the house is left to burn with the three secret society members being killed. Nell murders Frank and burns the home for girls, leaving her friends to die. Nell gets inside a car and the prophecy of the end of times is proven to be correct as she sets multiple buildings and vehicles aflame whilst driving past them.
Production and filming began March 19, 2012 and ended on April 21, 2012. Principal photography mostly took place in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The film received its premiere in Russia on February 28, 2013. The film was released on March 1, 2013 in its U.S. premiere. The film was not released theatrically in Sweden or Australia; the film was released direct-to-video on July 3, 2013 in Sweden and July 31, 2013 in Australia. The film was originally given an R rating by the MPAA but cuts were made to the finished product to receive a neutered PG-13 rating (all deleted footage was restored in the unrated edition of the film).
The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 18, 2013. The Blu-ray disc only contains the unrated cut of the film. The unrated version restored approximately 1 minute of footage deleted from the final cut which extended the length of certain scenes by a few seconds and depicted a more graphic version of Chris's suicide.
In its opening weekend The Last Exorcism Part II grossed $7,728,354. Domestically the film grossed $15,161,327 and $17,975 internationally grossing a total of $15,179,302 turning in a 10 million dollar profit but being a box office failure compared to the previous film's $67,738,090 gross to a $1.8 million budget.
The film was not screened in advance for critics. The film was widely panned by critics and audiences. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 16% based on reviews from 68 critics, with an average score of 3.6/10. Metacritic, which assigns a rating of 0 to 100, gave The Last Exorcism Part 2 a 35 indicating generally unfavorable reviews.
Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that The Last Exorcism Part II was an "unimpressive follow-up [to The Last Exorcism]", though praising Ashley Bell's "[...] memorable, unsettling performance that easily can be compared to Sissy Spacek's Carrie". Christopher Runyon of Movie Mezzanine also gave a negative review stating "Not a single aspect of this film suggests that anyone involved in the production cared".
Not all reviews for the film were negative though; Mark Olsen of Los Angeles Times gave a positive review stating "The Last Exorcism Part II is an effectively unnerving, slow-burn supernatural horror tale".
Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a C- grade.