When I heard the premise of “The Last Exorcism”, I was eager to see it, since I love supernatural horror movies involving ghosts, poltergeists, demons, and exorcisms. While I was entertained, I was unfortunately, left disappointed.
Reverend Cotton Marcus is an “exorcist” that has lost his Faith. He decides to expose exorcisms for the frauds they are, and brings along a small documentary crew to film his final exorcism. What he didn’t expect was to be thrust into the middle of a demon’s entry into this world…
Most horror films spark controversy due to their graphic portrayal of violence and gore. “The Last Exorcism” created controversy when one of the early posters advertizing the film received numerous complaints in he UK. Two of the 77 complaints claimed that the girl in the poster seemed to portray the victim of a sexual assault. The poster was removed, and discarded.
The first hour or so of this film was entertaining, and developed the character of Cotton Marcus quite well. It flowed nicely and was paced nicely. It was an excellent premise as well one that always catches my attention and makes me want to see how the director will handle the subject matter.
Patrick Fabian as the Reverend Cotton Marcus was well cast he looked like a Southern preacher, and conveyed both humour and tension wonderfully. Louis Herthum as Louis Sweetzer wasn’t bad as the religiously devout father trying to deal with the strange situation in his household. The remaining cast, however weren’t as strong as these two including the one role that SHOULD’VE been stronger, the role of Nellie. As nice as her character was, Ashley Bell just couldn’t quite pull me into the plight of the possessed girl. She had some good moments but they weren’t enough to really make me care about her.
I was split in my thoughts about the camera work. There were some decent shots mostly during the first hour of the movie. After that first “shocking” moment, the film seems to dip into the “shaky cam” a bit too much for my tastes.
“The Last Exorcism” could’ve been filled with tension and suspense, if they hadn’t given you a rather in your face clue to the ending about half-way through the film. Once that event occurred, I was no longer filled with the “what’s going to happen?” tension that I love about suspenseful films. I don’t want a film to tell me half-way how it’s going to end. I want to wonder and guess and even be wrong.
The worst part and what really left me disappointed at the end was the ending. It felt like it had been rehearsed and not very well. The acting in the final scene was rather stiff and… well… amateurish and fake.
Up until the one hour mark, I was enjoying the build up and story… after that, it started to go downhill. It’s worth a single viewing but no more than that.