Horror. Worldview. Faith.

The Last Exorcism – Review

The Last Exorcism – Review

Aug 28, 2010

reviewed by Melissa
directed by Daniel Stamm, 2010
(read Skot’s review here)
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The Last Exorcism is directed by Daniel Stamm produced be Eli Roth and stars Patrick Fabian and Ashley Bell.   It is the story of a disillusioned preacher who has decided to do a documentary showing how exorcisms can be faked.   The movie begins with Reverend Cotton Marcus being filmed for a documentary exposing exorcism hoaxes. Cotton has done over a hundred exorcisms and has decided to prove that they are a hoax after reading about a boy that was killed during an exorcism. Patrick has gathered a film crew for one last exorcism to expose how he fools people into believing he has exorcised a demon.

Cotton randomly picks a letter he has received about a girl who is possessed named Nell Sweetzer. Patrick and the crew go to the Sweetzer rural farmhouse where the sixteen year old lives with her older brother and father. Once they arrive Cotton realizes that Nell has problems. Having lost her mother to cancer she seems to be suffering psychological issues and is killing the family livestock, though she has no memory of these acts.   Cotton does a fake exorcism and then tells the family she is fine and leaves to go to a hotel for the night. Nell shows up at Cotton’s hotel room that evening in a catatonic state. Cotton and the film crew take Nell to the hospital and then back home. The next day Nell attacks her brother Caleb which prompts the return of Reverend Cotton and the film crew.

The remainder of the movie takes place with Cotton and the film crew trying to talk Nell’s father in to the fact his daughter needs counseling and her father convinced she is possessed by a demon.  While this debate is going on Nell is spiraling out of control with devastating results.

I was incredibly excited to see this movie and the first 80 minutes of it did not let me down. From the opening scene with Cotton I liked him. He was a fraud but I took to him and he made me laugh. He does seem to care about people and this is why he is out to expose exorcisms as hoaxes. He has lost his faith but through out the whole movie I was cheering for him and hoping he regained it.

I thought the cinematography was engrossing and felt like a documentary. I felt like I was watching something on the Discovery channel. The camera did an amazing job of searching out the rooms and catching a glimpse of what was going on beyond the camera lens. I would hear noises and was afraid what the camera was going to find, and there were really no cheap shocks in the entire movie. I also thought the movie built at a very good pace. I felt engrossed with the characters and I was involved with the plot. The movie kept building and building at a steady pace to the climax. That is where the movie takes a turn for the worse. The last 10 minutes of the film disgusted me as all this incredible build up was destroyed in one cheesy conclusion. I say that because I loved the film up to that point and was very involved, then they tied up the story line in 10 minutes and it was uninspired.

The movie was ruined for me with the ending but it is worth a see because Patrick Fabian and Ashley Bell do an outstanding job and the cinematography helps to propel the storyline.

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2 comments

  1. Ron O. /

    Sounds like the movie fell-short. Bummer! …I’m not so sure I’m gonna see this one now. I may just wait til it hits DVD. Thanks for your review.

  2. I would have to say that your review is dead on with my experience as well. The movie was great up to a point, and then the last little bit just erased all that awesomeness in one fell swoop.

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