The Last Exorcism (2010)

Perhaps it was the script that needed an Exorcism

Reverend Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) has performed fake exorcisms for years, and now, with the help of a film crew, is going to film his final exorcism, to take part in a documentary to expose exorcisms as a fraud. Cotton receives a letter which takes him and the crew to a farm, where a young girl, Nell (Ashley Bell) has become possessed. The Reverend performs the fake exorcism, but that's far from the end of things...

The film manages to feel quite like a documentary as opposed to another found footage movie, thanks to the use of cheap locations and by casting unknowns in the roles, so that we are not detracted from the film by any known stars acting in the roles or by the use of flashy sets. Tensions are built well throughout, especially with the use of that which we cannot see, but only hear.

Reverend Cotton Marcus was a well developed lead, telling us well the motivations behind Marcus' character, as to why he does these fake exorcisms and why he wants to expose them as a scam, showcasing that Cotton may be deceitful, but he doesn't do it out of greed but for good reasons, as we see when he pretends to be listening to God in order to get Louis to give up his alcoholic ways.

Louis Sweetzer, the father of the possessed young Nell, is is an interesting character who's led by faith, and quite blinded by it, refusing to acknowledge that his daughter willingly had sex, rather believing that it was due to possession, or that she was raped. I liked how he realistically asked for the cameras to be off when he first noticed them, after all, would you want cameras documenting your child's exorcism?

Last Exorcism Movie
Nell was gifted at Limbo

I felt that Caleb, Louis' son, was nothing more than the typical teenage who's angry at the world, and there was no attempts to make him anything other than that. To be honest, a lot of the characters in the movie are pretty much the typical type of people you'd see in a documentary to do with a religious subject matter, and it's a shame that they did not attempt to change this by giving us characters who were not typical religious types.

With the final act of the film, I felt that it devolved a bit, going from the documentary feel that I praised earlier into another found-footage jump fest, only with a better handling of the camera than we are used to seeing. Without spoiling the final act of the film, the film manages to take an interesting turn as Marcus works something out about Nell. But the main problem here is that the film doesn't stop after that turn, and has Marcus and the camera crew return to the farm, resulting in a turn too far, with the final scene giving us a twist that pretty much ruins the entire film.

The Last Exorcism is a film that managed to occasionally intrigue me throughout, but nothing about it managed to grip me or lead me to believe that it is deserving of a sequel. I do have to give credit to a horror movie in this day and age that has a naked girl but refuses to show her exposed breasts, let alone her exposed shoulders, but if it were not for that final scene, this film would have at least half a star more in the rating.


Tom_Film_Master said…
Nice first paragraph, Very true :) Splendid review, although not sure about seeing this one.
James Rodrigues said…
Its not a film i'd strongly recommend, just one i'd say to watch if you want to rack up another review for your site
Matt Stewart said…
Not too interested in this one at all, but nice review.
Tommy Durbin said…
Great review! I have not seen this one myself. I love The Exorcist so much that I'm not sure if I want to ruin it by watching other ones.
James Rodrigues said…
I think you'd ruin The Exorcist more by watching it's sequels than by watching this film. Thanks for reading, Ghostface
HarleyQuinn said…
I probably won't see this, but great review though!