Exorcism movies have always fascinated me. I love the religious culture and the horror of an innocent being possessed by pure evil. Even the cheesiest of films can evoke a shock or two, but it’s the holy words spoken in Latin that have a certain charm (Deus et ultio to everyone!). When the trailers came out for The Last Exorcism, it looked like another b-flick with a spin of the head and a climb of the wall, but the trailers and the advertising did nothing for this brilliant film.
The Last Exorcism is a clever, bone-chilling film that comes from a collaboration of minds – director Daniel Stamm (M. Night Shyamalan’s Reincarnate), as well as all-star horror producer Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel, Hostel 2) and the producers of Dawn of the Dead. The film is far more than a standard religious horror film by showing us the tricks of the exorcism trade used by a fictional priest who had a career of faking the rituals in a mocumentary style (think Blair Witch with better production, more extras and a larger cast).
After years of performing "exorcisms" and taking believers’ money, Reverend Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) travels to rural Louisiana with a film crew to document what is to be his last so he can dispel what he believes is the myth of demonic possession. The dynamic reverend is certain that this will be another routine "exorcism" on a disturbed religious fanatic but instead comes upon the blood-soaked farm of the Sweetzer family and a true evil he would have never thought imaginable.
The slow documentary build-up makes the horror pound harder when things go astray and the “demon” makes himself present. The Last Exorcism isn’t as good as The Exorcist, but it comes in as a close second. Don’t expect shocking blood and gore, just let your mind follow Reverend Cotton and his film crew as the pulsating story evolves and you’ll scare yourself silly.
The DVD comes with an entertaining look at true stories called Real Stories of Exorcism, as well as a did you know style making of feature.