The Last Exorcism (2010) Movie Review
Written By: FR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Daniel Stamm
Writers: Huck Botko, Andrew Gurland
Producer: Eli Roth, Eric Newman, et. al.
Release Date: August 27, 2010
Patrick Fabian as Cotton Marcus
Ashley Bell as Nell Sweetzer
Iris Bahr as Iris Reisen
Louis Herthum as Louis Sweetzer
Caleb Landry Jones as Caleb Sweetzer
Tony Bentley as Pastor Manley
John Wright Jr. as John Marcus
Shanna Forrestall as Shanna Marcus
Justin Shafer as Justin Marcus
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
In Baton Rouge, LA, there lives the evangelical Reverend Cotton Marcus who was raised by his father to be a preacher. He agrees that the filmmaker Iris Reisen and the cameraman Daniel Moskowitz make a documentary about his life. Cotton tells them that when his wife Shanna Marcus had troubles in the delivery of their son Justin, he prioritized the doctor help to God and since then he questions his faith. Further, he tells that exorcisms are frauds but the results are good for the believers because they believe it is true. One day, a farmer, Louis Sweetzer, summoned him to perform an exorcism in his daughter Nell, Cotton sees the chance to prove to the documentary crew what he has just told them. They head to Ivanwood wherein they have a hostile reception from Louis’s son Caleb. Cotton performs the exorcism in Nell, exposing his tricks to the camera, but sooner they learn that the dysfunctional Sweetzer family has more serious problems.
The movie is not immensely violent, but it is disturbing. The unsettling scenes are usually common in exorcism genre. There is a scene where a woman was running through dark woods and was grabbed by a man who pushed her to the ground and hacked her with an ax. A camera, while filming, is used to beat a cat to death: the cat screamed with the repeated blows, blood on the camera lens and a pile of bloody tissue where the cat had been lying. There is a scene with a man running through woods and is startled by someone who comes up behind him and cuts his head off with a scythe (hear the “schwing” of the blade, a squish and a thud as the man’s body hits the ground). As a regular scene in possession movies, a teen girl is chained by the ankles and sits on the floor of a barn while a man performs an exorcism: she pulls at her skin, she twists her neck unnaturally and we hear a crack, her face contorts and she speaks with a woman’s voice, she leans backward, almost bent in half, and she breaks three of her own fingers by bending them back (hear them crack) and she screams.
The Grave Review
The Last Exorcism (2010) utilizes the found footage genre to tell the story of a troubled evangelical minister who agrees to let his last exorcism be filmed. He was summoned by a farmer to perform an exorcism in his daughter, and he sees the chance to prove to the documentary crew that exorcisms are frauds, but the results are good for the believers because they believe it is true.
This is a movie with a very clever spin on the normal exorcist fare. What this turns out to be is a fascinating suspense drama using exorcism as a narrative tool.
The script is clever and entertaining. The main lead actor who plays the reverend is very charismatic and carries the whole movie. Admittedly, the movie would be half of what it is without his performance. The other actors, particularly the teenage victim who maybe possessed by a demon, are commendable too.
However, there are attempts to make the viewers jump out of their seat but unfortunately, these moments are too copycat of the techniques used in similar movies. It may be effective to some but could have been done better.
Overall, the film isn’t anything brilliant, but it’s a perfectly enjoyable horror film, with a mockumentary style and black comedy bent. It won’t be for every horror enthusiast’s tastes, but it is nevertheless enjoyable.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Last Exorcism (2010) two graves out of five graves.
Do you agree with our review? Comment below.
You may also like our review of the film, The Exorcist.