The Last Exorcism

"Excellent"

The Last Exorcism Review


The best thing about this film is the way it continually subverts our expectations. It tells an unnerving story in a disarmingly natural way that's thoroughly believable, all without resorting to corny movie hokum. Until the end, that is.

Rev Cotton Marcus (Fabian) has been a preacher since he was a little boy, following in the footsteps of his father (Wright) to hold his congregation in the palm of his hand and exorcise demons when necessary. But a crisis has undermined his faith, so he hires a TV crew (Bahr and Grimes) to document the the ridiculous trickery he uses to perform one final exorcism. But nothing about this possessed girl (Bell), her father (Herthum) or brother (Jones) is as expected. And Cotton starts to doubt that there's a logical explanation.

Stamm assembles the film as if it's an offhanded documentary, casually shot around Cotton's normal life, capturing his interaction with his father, wife (Forrestall) and son (Shafer) with humour and intelligence. It's so under-produced that it feels utterly real, and the subtle acting helps maintain this authenticity as the characters find comedy and irony even in the most intense situations while reacting with recognisably real emotion.

As a result, we are drawn right into the events with them, and the film rarely feels as controlled as its predecessors (like Rec, Cloverfield or of course The Blair Witch Project). The only thing that rings false here is the fact that Cotton and his crew don't turn and run the moment things start getting weird.

Or at least call the cops. Because while what they find may have a reasonable explanation, they are certainly not equipped to deal with any of it.

The film's final sequence is a little unnecessary; ending it a few minutes earlier would have made the film much more haunting, although perhaps mainstream audiences braying for cheap thrills would have felt unsatisfied.

Because up to this point it's a fiendishly clever dramatic thriller, expertly shot and edited and performed with rare clarity. The characters are vivid and complex, and it's unusual for a genre film like this to be so exhiliaratingly unpredictable.



The Last Exorcism

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th August 2010

Box Office USA: $41.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $41M

Budget: $3M

Distributed by: Lionsgate

Production compaines: Strike Entertainment, StudioCanal, Arcade Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Fresh: 108 Rotten: 42

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Daniel Stamm

Producer: , Thomas Bliss, Eric Newman,

Starring: as Nell Sweetzer, as Cotton Marcus, as Iris, Shanna Forrestall as Mrs. Cotton Marcus, as Louis Sweetzer, Allen Boudreaux as Satanic Worshiper, as Gerald

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Advertisement
Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.