The Last Exorcism

Directed by Daniel Stamm

Starring Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, and Iris Bahr

Overall Impression: Like the little engine that could… but then didn’t.

So the idea was to make a documentary style film about an evangelist who agrees to perform an exorcism on film. He’s your typical camera ready evangelical creature… in the business for the profit and celebrity, and completely lacking in faith and sincerity. To prove the hoax he maintains that they are, he takes his small crew to Louisiana for a paying gig to exorcise the proverbial farmer’s daughter.

He probably should have taken his job a little more seriously.

I don’t need to tell you that his lack of belief blinded him to what was really happening. After faking his way through a laughable performance — and had it been an actual documentary even the most backwoods dullard would’ve seen through his sham — he decided what the girl really needed was a shrink. Despite her fairly convincing contortionist bit in the barn (think of a far less comely Emily Rose doing a flawless split and then offering a ‘blowing job’) he still tried to blame her bizarre antics on ‘teenage shame’. Really? Does shame enable the back of one’s head to soundly rest on their ass? Nope. Tried it. Just not possible. What other explanation is there that could account for such seemingly satanic flexibility? Well, I’ll tell you what:

Incest… apparently.

And it ends the exact same way all the other ‘let’s try to make this look authentic even though they’re gonna recognize some of the actors from previous films’ mock docs ends… you screaming, “Run faceless camera man, run!” And then a thud. AND finally the closing screenshot of rocks and gravel.

Whoops! It’s wrong to reveal endings, isn’t it? Well, if it’s any consolation, there’s an unexpected twist before it’s over. And I will be nice and NOT tell you what it is. Or you can pretend the previous paragraph doesn’t exist.

Occasionally predictable plot aside, I was irritated by the movie early on. In the beginning Cotton is being interviewed, and he explains how Lucifer became evil. Now, maybe they intentionally got that bit wrong to reinforce Cotton’s lack of integrity as a supposed man of God. Either that was a deliberate snafu meant to ensure authenticity, or it was poor research in writing.

All griping aside, the movie wasn’t horrible. It had some moments of true creepiness scattered throughout the predictable set-up. But it’s not as scary as the dvd cover art implies. And it really could’ve benefited from a less been-there-done-that conclusion.

In my opinion, Emily Rose was a far more unsettling film. But that’s just me. You will have to see for yourself if I’m wrong.

The Last Exorcism receives 2.5 out of 5 Fuzzies   





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