The Last Exorcism Movie Review
Something tells me this summer's The Last Exorcism has a misleading title. Hollywood remains convinced that it can do better than The Exorcist, despite failing for the last 40 years. There have been countless exorcism movies before and there will be countless in the future, all more or less the same.
The Last Exorcism is "presented by Eli Roth," as if anyone cares that Eli Roth presents anything. I mean, seriously, what has he done? Hostel?
OK, I'm calmed down now.
The Last Exorcism is a surprisingly decent movie that completely falls apart in the final few minutes. The movie, filmed like it's a documentary, follows faithless preacher and exorcist Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian), who has decided to show to the world that everything he does is a joke. He brings along a film crew to a secluded Louisiana home and discovers that a 16-year-old girl may actually be possessed by a demon.
The Last Exorcism delivers pretty much what you'd expect from an exorcism movie. Ashley Bell, who plays Nell Sweetzer, contorts into weird position, gives creepy stares and makes weird noises. Sort of like the upcoming sex scene in the new Twilight movie. And weird stuff happens.
Unfortunately, despite what the DVD cover claims, The Last Exorcism isn't scary, gripping or "very intense." The possession scenes aren't any different than in any other horror movie; they're pretty predictable, as is the movie.
Oh, except for the ending. Which is completely unpredictable, but not in a good way.
Admittedly, most of the movie is pretty entertaining, even if it isn't scary. I like the faithless preacher angle; unlike in other exorcism movies, Cotton Marcus doesn't want to find his faith - he just wants to get out of his profession and go down in a blaze of glory. And make some money.
Director Daniel Stamm maintains a moderate level of suspense throughout even though he fails at making the movie look like it's a documentary. But once again, he destroys any goodwill he established with the audience by forcing the final few minutes upon viewers.
The Last Exorcism starts out okay, but the combination of a terrible conclusion and a plot we've seen a dozen times before makes it forgettable. Still, for what it is, there have been much worse.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.