The Last Exorcism – USA, 2010 – reviews

 
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‘Believe in him.’

The Last Exorcism is a 2010 American found footage supernatural horror film directed and edited by Daniel Stamm (13 Sins). The movie stars Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Iris Bahr, and Louis Herthum.

Plot:

The Reverend Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife (Shanna Forestall) and son. Marcus is accustomed to performing fake exorcisms on “possessed” individuals, but when he reads of an autistic child being killed during an exorcism, he comes to realise the potential danger of exorcism.

Marcus agrees to take part in a documentary designed to expose exorcism as a fraud, working with a film crew consisting of producer/director Iris Reisen (Iris Bahr) and cameraman Daniel Moskowitz (Adam Grimes). At random, he chooses an exorcism request sent by farmer Louis Sweetzer (Louis Herthum), who claims his daughter Nell (Ashley Bell) is slaughtering his animals while she is possessed. The team drives to the rural area of Louisiana where the Sweetzers live.

Marcus claims Nell is possessed by a powerful demon named Abalam. Prior to the exorcism, Marcus plants hidden speakers and electronic props, so he can bamboozle the family into believing he is driving out a demon. After the ritual, Marcus and his film crew leave, believing they have cured her of a mental state that was misdiagnosed as a possession…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“As Stamm and his writing tag-team simmer the psychological-satanic stew in ambiguity, the cast add flavoursome character studies. From these sure foundations, Stamm delivers chills that seep under the skin, aided by Hostel heavyweight Eli Roth’s input as producer.” Total Film

“And when things got really serious (or at least that’s what we were supposed to experience), there was an almost deadened, too-late-in-coming feeling of dread — followed quickly by that very familiar “been there / done that” ultimate disappointment. I would even go so far as to use “ultimate betrayal” because, yet again, we’re stuck with a film that’s got loads of potential only to completely devolve into flash-in-the-pan drudgery.” Big Fan Boy

“The Last Exorcism starts off promising but falls flat. It’s not particularly scary and the possessed girl isn’t interesting to watch, which is a major problem for this movie considering its title.” Screen Crave

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“I really would have liked to have given this a stronger recommendation, but if you’re looking for something a bit different in a horror movie and are a fan of the first person/documentary style you’ll probably enjoy The Last Exorcism – right up until the really stupid ending.” Screen Rant

“I’m not saying this type of horror film need to thump a Holy Book, but there’s no weight to Cotton as a man of God. Jason Miller’s guilt-ravaged Father Karras in Friedkin’s classic (that one can view in either perspective) is interesting because of this intense personal conflict, yet it’s hard to care about the fundamentally flawed protagonist in Stamm’s hodgepodge…” Basement of Ghoulish Decadence

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