As much as I love “The Exorcist,” I find it a little troubling how the body of a pubescent girl is used as a battleground for good and evil and gets horribly defiled in the process. Regan has far more agency in “Exorcist II,” although Linda Blair’s limitations as an actor are even more pronounced. Somewhat retrofitting the original, John Boorman’s film makes her a saintly figure with newfound psychic abilities as Father Lamont and Dr. Tuskin’s well-intentioned but misguided actions open up a gap for Pazuzu to exploit.
Returning from Africa, Lamont is in a trance-like state, indicating that his contact with Pazuzu via Regan exerts a malign influence over him. They head to Washington for a final showdown with the demon in her old bedroom where she was possessed before. Pazuzu tempts Lamont by manifesting as a succubus, ickily portrayed as a seductive demonic clone of Regan. Meanwhile, a plague of locusts descends on the capital as Dr. Tuskin and Sharon also head over to the house, but the latter prevents Tuskin from entering by setting herself alight. It turns out that she has become an acolyte of the Devil in the presence of Regan and the demon within her.
Pazuzu goads Lamont into attacking Regan, who speaks in Kokumo’s voice to remind him of the “good locust.” This makes Lamont snap out of it and pounce on the demon instead, ripping its heart out as the house collapses around them. Regan escapes outside into the swarm and, channeling young Kokumo, mimics the bull-roarer ritual, subduing the locusts and making them disappear.
Having recovered his faith, Lamont walks away into the night with Regan. He is now ready to continue Merrin’s studies and help people like her develop their powers while the Devil is licking his wounds for a while.