The Last Exorcism is the story of Reverend Cotton Marcus and is filmed in the found documentary style where you actively watch what someone filmed before they died. Marcus is a disillusioned minister who has learned that his skills in preaching are nothing more than huxterism at its worst. He was once a man known around Louisiana and the country as the exorcist. Mail comes in daily from people begging for his help in releasing demons from the possessed.
Marcus is giving up the trade forever and agrees to allow a documentary film crew to follow him on his last exorcism. They travel to rural Louisiana to exorcise a demon from a young girl and set up the tricks of the trader:
- Sound effects
- Fancy tomes
- Guided thoughts
The song and dance works and the family believes the demon was exorcised. This is when the movie gets really, really good.
The possessed girl, Nell, shows up at the crew’s hotel babbling and basically out of it. Marcus takes her to the hospital for proper care, but nothing is found wrong for her. From here the movie twists and turns to an ending that was reminiscent of the Blair Witch Project, but much better told.
What I enjoyed about The Last Exorcism:
- Patrick Fabian – As Marcus he does a great job walking the line between snake oil salesman and earnest reverend. He brings a tenderness to the situation that makes you feel for those who seek his help in releasing the demons.
- Ashley Bell – Playing Nell, Ashley is morose, reserved, attacking and fervent in her possessed character. I couldn’t tell if she was possessed or not throughout the movie. Wow, what a great acting job.
What I didn’t enjoy about The Last Exorcism:
- Camera man – Even though it is found footage, they relied a little too much on the camera man acting as a narrator almost to a fault. Yes, I understand that someone is going to say something, but it seemed like the camera man was pointing things out constantly.
The Last Exorcism has great moments in comedy and horror. It moves well and keeps your attention throughout. You should see this movie just to experience the found footage genre done right.