The Last Exorcism
September 22, 2010
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Director: Daniel Stamm
Writer: Huck Botko/Andrew Gurland
Producers: Eli Roth/Mark Abraham/Thomas Bliss/Eric Newman
Starring: Patrick Fabian/Ashley Bell/Iris Bahr/Louis Herthum
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 99 minutes
There have been many times I’ve seen a horror movie that have scared me such as the original A Nightmare on Elm Street or have made me quite jumpy like Paranormal Activity, unfortunately The Last Exorcism fails to do that and more. So The Last Exorcism is filmed in a documentary style made popular by movies such as Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project. The Last Exorcism is about a Reverend who, after years of performing exorcisms, decides to make a documentary on his next exorcism which will be his last and helps out farmer, who wants the Reverend to drive the devil out of his daughter. The story should have worked as it’s so basic and simple, however even though the first thirty to forty minutes of the movie is quite interesting, the rest of the story tends to be boring and unsatisfying most of the time with some occasional good moments. The Last Exorcism starts off as a documentary with the crew interviewing the Reverend’s family and him saying that he wants to show the world that exorcisms are nothing but trickery. After he meets the daughter and shows us how he fakes an exorcism, that’s when it stops becoming so interesting. Everybody knows and predicts that the Reverend will be shocked as his last exorcism is the one he must do for real but it’s such a shame that the scenes are done so sloppy. Everything from then on tries to scare you or make you jump and starts to slowly build-up only to lead to such a mediocre and slightly confusing ending and the trailer is like the best moments of the movie.
The Last Exorcism’s characters are mediocre at best and hardly add anything to the movie. Cotton was quite interesting to watch for the first forty minutes but as soon as they passed, Cotton quickly become uninteresting. The same can be said for Nell, the tormented teenager, her character was interesting as she was told she did dreadful things and she didn’t remember how and started to blame the demons but as the movie went on, she started to get boring rather quickly. The Last Exorcism is mainly focused Cotton, Nell and the film crew and yet the only characters we know about are Cotton and Nell, the rest of the characters weren’t properly introduced and therefore you didn’t care about them. The movie was not written very well as the story was quite stretched and only two of the characters were properly introduced and the rest of the characters were left out. The aim of the movie was to make the audience believe that The Last Exorcism was actually real and all the events in the movie were actually true, however the movie wasn’t really believable, at least it wasn’t to me. Also, it wasn’t very scary either as it doesn’t scare you through its story, its atmosphere or characters but tries to force you to be scared by trying to make you jump constantly which only results in you rolling your eyes and letting out a disappointed sigh.
The Last Exorcism may have had a stretched story and hardly any characterisation but the acting was actually quite good, however this wasn’t enough to make the movie feel realistic. Patrick Fabian and Ashley Bell both gave out a good performance to start with but as the movie went on, it felt like they were both getting bored of their roles. The rest of the cast wasn’t bad as their characters but you hardly took any notice of them nor cared about them. The Last Exorcism is bad and terribly clichéd in quite a few scenes but there are a couple of good moments here and there, unfortunately there aren’t enough to save this movie. Most of the movie is nothing but a bunch of ‘jumpy’ (and I use that word lightly) scenes with a simple-turned-complicated story and a stretched plot. If you like horror movies that is filmed in a documentary style then you may like this, however if you’re thinking that this is going to be a massive breakthrough in the horror genre, don’t waste your time or money.