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The Last Exorcism Review

 

The Last Exorcism Review

 

  When I first saw the name of this film, my first thought was, oh great another classic horror movie remade by Hollywood to make a quick buck, come on already Hollywood be original! I was completely wrong in my assumptions.

 

No relation to The Exorcist... Hollywood being original... It really must be the end of days!

 

No Relation to the Exorcist

 

  The Last Exorcism is a completely different film from The Exorcist, done in the popular shaky cam mockumentary style that has worked so well in previous film titles like The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield.

 

  I usually detest this style of film making (it gives me headaches due to some eye problems that I suffer from), but when done right (like it's use in Cloverfield, or The Poughkeepsie Tapes) it can be compelling, and in this movie it's use makes sense and helps to draw you into the story.

 

  Gone are the traditional Roman Catholic trappings that movie goers have so become accustomed too over the years when seeing a movie about exorcism, replaced with the high energy showmanship of a southern evangelical preacher who specializes in performing exorcisms for money... yes I did just say that.

 

Can I get an Amen!

Banana Bread & Cotton Marcus

 

  This is a horror movie and not a comedy, and as silly as the premise may sound so far , the film makers did an excellent job using this approach without making it seem ridiculous or over the top.

 

  Our protagonist for this film is the Reverend Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian), who has had a crisis of faith after the near death of his son during premature labor. Cotton finds himself thankful to the doctors and not to god, and begins to question if he ever really believed in god in the first place.

 

  Cotton was forced into preaching at a very early age by his father as a way to draw in the crowds. He studied for a long time and one Sunday his father revealed him to the parishioners of their church.

 

  The straw that breaks the camel's back in Cotton's world and forces him to revaluate what he does, is when he reads about the smothering death of a young boy in Texas during an exorcism. Cotton has had enough and decides to expose the secrets about exorcism by performing one last exorcism for a documentary film crew before he retires.

 

  After selecting a letter at random from a pile of request for exorcisms, Cotton and the film crew make their way to the rural farm of the Sweetzer family.

 

  Mr. Sweetzer (Louis Herthum) believes that his teen age daughter Nell (Ashley Bell) is possessed by a demon, after finding a few of his animals slaughtered, and his daughters night clothes covered in blood.

  

  Nell for her part has no recollection of how her clothes got that way and seems genuinely innocent.

 

  Cotton performs a few tricks and is caught by Nell's brother Caleb (Caleb Landry Jones), but after confronting Cotton on the side, he decides to keep quiet about what he sees.

 

  Cotton convinces Nell and her father that she is possessed and using a bunch of vaudeville tricks performs his "exorcism" on the girl. The father pleased with the results pays Cotton and he and the film crew leave the farm and head into town to stay at a hotel for the night before returning home.

 

Jesus lady your scaring me... it's only a crucifix made from banana bread.

Exorcism Scene

 

  That night Nell shows up in one of their hotel rooms sitting comatose on a bed, and the film crew and Cotton rush her to a hospital.

 

  The events that follow lead Mr. Sweetzer to believe that his daughter is possessed once again, while Cotton battles with Mr. Sweetzer to get the poor girl the professional help that she so desperately needs. Mr. Sweetzer finally tells Cotton that if he refuses to perform another exorcism he will "save her soul himself".

 

  Cotton fearing that his previous actions will cause the very death he was trying to prevent by working with the film crew, is pulled back into the lives of the Sweetzer family.

 

  I think I have laid out enough of the movie without spoiling it, the final two acts are very well done with your heart racing in the last five minutes as you see an ending that you probably did not expect to see coming, which is quite a rare event in film these days.

 

  This film caused quite a stir when it was only rated PG 13, I expected it to be a complete gore fest when I saw Eli Roth's name (of Hostel and Cabin Fever fame) attached to this film, but once again a film proves that you do not need buckets of blood and gore to be truly frightening.

 

  The Last Exorcism is a well thought out and plotted psychological horror movie, that I am sure you will enjoy.

 

Final verdict for The Last Exorcism 7/10

  -Professor

 

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