THE LAST EXORCISM (2010)
Documentary style horror tells the tale of Reverend Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) a preacher from Baton Rouge who has lost his faith and now performs fake exorcisms to help cure people of what he sees simply as psychological problems leading them to believe they’re possessed. Cotton has agreed to allow a film crew to document one of his ‘performances’ when called upon to a rural farmhouse where Louis Sweetzer (Louis Herthum) claims that his 16 year old daughter Nell (Ashley Bell) has a demon inside her. But things don’t go as Cotton and crew plan as it becomes increasing possible that this time the subject’s inner demons are real and Cotton may somehow need to rediscover his faith if he is to deal with it.
As directed by Daniel Stamm, this faux documentary horror takes it’s time getting started, but that makes the flick all the more effective when things start to go wrong. At first we are led to believe maybe Nell is just suffering the psychological effects of the death of her mother and the shame of a teen pregnancy, but things get creepier and creepier till it’s obvious Nell’s unborn child is not the only person in there with her. Last Exorcism provides some very chilling moments and some nice scares as Cotton is slowly forced to believe his lack of faith was premature and the monster that inhabits Nell’s body starts to come out and play. Stamm stages some really chilling set pieces including a real disturbing sequence in the barn where the demon taunts Cotton over control of Nell. The found footage style helps draw us in as if we were there watching the horror unfold. This all leads to the film’s controversial ending which I won’t spoil the details to, but to say I personally liked it. Sure it may have been right out of a 70s horror flick, but as you may have noticed from the movies profiled here, that’s right up my alley.
All in all, Last Exorcism is a very effective and spooky flick and is given plenty of atmosphere by it’s director and helped along with some good performances by it’s cast, especially Ashley Bell who really can turn on the creepy with her malice filled stares and body movements one minute and yet, appear sweet and innocent the next. The film maintains the fake documentary style well, despite having an actual but effective movie score, and it’s a chilling little treat. And as for it’s much talked about ending, in my book it worked just fine despite being a bit more of a ‘movie’ ending then the found footage style may have required. It payed homage to some of the horrors I grew up with and I’ll give the filmmakers a break if they got a bit theatrical as compared to the more intimate horror of the rest of the movie. A good Saturday night horror flick.
3 and 1/2 contorting country girls