The Last Exorcism
When he arrives on the rural Louisiana farm of Louis Sweetzer, the Reverend Cotton Marcus expects to perform just another routine exorcism on a disturbed religious fanatic.
© 2010 STUDIOCANAL & STRIKE ENTERTAINMENT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
- buy from $10.99
- rent from $2.99
Tense "documentary" has some blood, lots of scares.
what parents need to know
what families can talk about
The pseudo-documentary premise is paper-thin at the outset and wears out long before Botko and Gurland's script lurches toward the dumbest and least plausible solution to the mystery.
It's difficult to find an ending for horror movies. Often the getting there is the fun. That's especially true here.
It's hard to be frightened by something when you're too busy laughing at it.
Satan gets behind The Last Exorcism in a fiendishly clever plot that starts out creepily enthralling, then collapses in a heap.
A tense and generally understated chiller that might creep you right the hell out.
The only thing finally astonishing about The Last Exorcism is its goofiness.
An unusually restrained and genuinely eerie little movie perched at the intersection of faith, folklore and female puberty.
A creepy, smartly written and very entertaining low-budget chiller.
It's like director Daniel Stamm and his crew realized they were treading awfully close to making a film with real depth and edge that horror audiences might hate, and they just couldn't pull the trigger.
That this comes via minimal special effects is admirable, but the movie also cheats a bit: Tinkly piano music is layered onto the spooky moments, which kills the faux-doc "realism.
The Last Exorcism makes first-rate use of religious doubt and religious extremism to concoct a novel horror-thriller clever enough to seduce unbelievers while satisfying the bloodlust of its congregation/fanbase.
The Last Exorcism is fueled by the arrogance of its smarmy outsider, the expert who knows everything except what an ass he is.
A man very much of these times, Cotton is that rarity in the horror genre: a genuinely intriguing character.
In its eagerness to deliver familiar genre pleasures, it somehow misplaces its soul.
This is the rare horror film that would have been entertaining even if nothing scary happened.
The latest entry in the pseudo-documentary horror film sweepstakes, The Last Exorcism has its terrifying moments and its silly ones.
It's not just the hand-held camera that will shake you up. The Last Exorcism gives you good reason to be very afraid of the dark.
The Last Exorcism stirs up a caldron of handheld-camera technique, faith-challenged drama and solid acting for a suitably squirmy tale of demonic possession.
Stamm creates an anxious psychological horror that's vaguely familiar yet refreshingly original.
Mostly good fun if only for the sentiment expressed by a colleague and shared by a big contingent of horror fans: "I'm always up for a nice exorcism movie."
The Last Exorcism pulls off its sweetly scary magic trick with great style and panache.
The credibility of faux-documentary filmmaking relies on clear plotting and convincing, semi-improvised acting.
"Believe In Him." A troubled evangelical minister agrees to let his last exorcism be filmed by a documentary crew. REVIEW Fairly creepy supernatural suspense 'mockumentary' in the same vein as "The Blair Witch Project" with echoes of "The Wicker Man" in this indie produced by horror maven Eli Roth about a charlatan man of the cloth (Fabian affectively amiable and pitiable) who faces an ultimate challenge in the form of young Bell (very good in her on-the-dime changes in behavior/moods), a backwoods farm girl who may in fact be harboring a demon (or two) ...or is she? Rookie filmmaker Daniel Stamm employs the serviceable but rather predictable screenplay by Huck Botko & Andrew Kurland and milk it for all its worth with every genre trick in the book (spooky mood music; shadows; sudden jerks of the camera etc.) that offers a big set up with a somewhat unsatisfactory final reel (but it's a doozy). Fine for a Halloween rental for those who like 'reality' based terrors.
Starts out with moments on intrigue throughout its slow buildup (which, by the way, is nothing like the marketing) and then manages to deliver some real chills and blends naturalistic performances into the mix as well to help. Unfortunately it is let down by a rather piss poor ending that really kills the ambiguity of what came before it. Ultimately a letdown, but at least I'll be looking out for what Daniel Stamm will do next.
in the first 5 minutes of this, the phony preacher character brags that once he had his audience hooked that he could talk about anything in the middle of a sermon, anything at all, even the recipe for banana bread, and they would take it, love it. unfortunately the makers of this schlock really believed this and prove it by perpetrating such on their audience. good luck. one part exorcist (doh!), one part blair witch, one final part ... but that would give the whole jinx away ... and you've got this malarkey down. and irritation too. save yourself.
Wow. I must say that I am damn dissapointed with this. I thought that this movie would actually be worthy for the horror genre. Nope. Not at all. "The Last Exorcism" doesn't offer any type of chills whatsoever and it has one of the worst endings I've ever seen in movie history. Skip this. Don't waste 80 minutes of your life.
A little horror thriller film on camcorder style.The film works well on creepyness and jump out scares but the film is trying to creep you out more with the talk of possession, demons and the devil and thats works well if you just let your mind and imagination follow.The end is great and the film works up to that point well.I never saw that coming.So at the end of the day you have a blair witch project style with a dose of emily rose and the wicker man thrown in.
A GREAT premise. Sadly the key to making this work is our feeling that the "subjects" of this mocumentary might actually be real. While the performances are good...I never once felt that what was going on felt so real as to make me uncomfortable or even frightened. And any positive feelings that I might have felt about this film were completely overshadowed by the ridiculous final ten minutes of the film. Great potential hear but ultimately a let down.
Cotton Marcus: We're looking for the Sweetzer farm. Caleb: You wanna make a U-turn...and then I want you to go back where you came from. I don't have a problem with the "found footage" style of film-making. I think, when done well, it's a fun way of telling a story. That being said, there are the other times when one just has to wonder why someone would still be filming, which tends break the tension of the situation. I had this problem during The Last Exorcism. There has to be a solid 40 minutes of movie here, but for the most part, the movie just didn't deliver well enough, with both the problems I had with in the handling of the film style and the really terrible "rug-pull" ending. Set in the South, we start in Baton Rouge, following Reverend Cotton Marcus, played by Patrick Fabian. Marcus is an evangelical minister who seems to function more as a showman than a devout man of god. We learn that he has performed many exorcisms over the years, but has become somewhat disillusioned, deciding to handle one last exorcism case and letting a documentary team follow him along. After choosing a letter at random and skimming the details, Marcus and the crew head out to a farm in Georgia. There, he must deal with a teenage girl, Nell, played by Ashley Bell, who is supposedly afflicted by a demon. At first, we experience the Reverend Marcus' style of exorcism, as he reveals the secrets of his handiwork, but the situation may call for much more effort as Nell may truly be under deep control of evil. Directed by Daniel Stamm and produced by Eli Roth (who has made films that range from 'meh' to okay, but has apparently risen to the ranks of a big name over the title) have put together a film that is certainly slick and effective enough for the easy-to-scare teen crowd, which is why it's PG-13 and released during a time with little competition (meaning we can expect a sequel "The Last Last Exorcism," or a prequel "The Next to Last Exorcism"), but really not much more than a reason to have a girl walk around a house creepily with no lights on. To the film's credit, it does a good job of building up the characters and creating some tension before settling into the real "scares." The (long) opening of the film establishes Marcus as a likable man, despite the way he portrays his beliefs. He is certainly not trying to make fun of the religion he is a reverend of, but he stretches the line of being a fraud and a healer. We get a little from the town that Nell is from too, but are then given plenty of back-story about her family at the farm. All of this happens scare-free and is done effectively enough where I would have been content watching this as one half-hour TV show special. But then we get to the first exorcism (a clearly and purposefully fake one), which only leads to everyone realizing that this is no time for games. With that character development established, the film then tries to veer into horror territory, but honestly there isn't much to be seen here. I can always appreciate a film that builds tension (see 2009's House of the Devil) but this film doesn't do much to pay it off. Creepy possession POV scenes and the standard "demon-talks-through-corrupted-victim" scenes are nice and all, but more could have helped the film. There is really only about 15 minutes of the movie (I would say) that is devoted to being legitimately scary, as we deal with possessed Nell moving through the house, with lights going in and out, while the characters nervously wonder what is happening, despite continuing to move forward. And that's really my problem; shooting in this format, the film doesn't give enough reason, beyond the very idea of making this a movie, to keep these characters involved in the action. Other, more successful films, may have suffered from this problem as well, but were more entertaining to downplay those thoughts. Here, you literally have a disillusioned and skeptical priest and a clearly nervous crew continuing to move through an area for no real reason, beyond the fact that a camera is involved. My other problem is its ending. Of course I won't spoil anything here, but suffice it to say, the film could have still garnered a recommendation from me if something different from the last 10 minutes of this film took place. While the events that take place don't come completely out of left field, it's definitely way more abrupt than one would hope and doesn't do the film any favors. The massive groans I heard in the theater certainly solidified my opinions on this matter. Also, why did a "found footage" movie have a score? Overall, if you're really desperate for cheap scares, this is one way to get them. There some easy thrills, some creepiness, and quite a bit of humor actually, but the film doesn't pull itself together well enough to be anything greater. Louis: If you can't save my daughter's soul, then I will.
Review Summary: "This one's for the horror fans," I heard horror maestro producer Eli Roth say not more than three hours ago as he stood in front of a sold out Bloor Cinema at the Toronto After Dark gala premiere of The Last Exorcism. I couldn't agree more. Here is an honest, straight forward reworking of the demonic possession subgenre that is scary, tense, and delivers the goods. It presents an interesting conflict between science and religion that I hope will spark discussion once the credits role. Opens August 27, and if you're a horror fan, check it out!
I really liked this and think it's one of the best manipulative horror movies in a long time. There is so much time spent on creating an atmosphere, sense of security and happiness only to be taken away by complete chaos and terror. It's what The Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity wish they could be, actually frightening. I'm not really one to ever be effected by horror movies, but this startled me a few times so for that it definitely gets some points in my book. The acting works, it's convincing which is the important part and the plot is extremely interesting and original within the genre.
The best part about this movie was that it wasn?t overhyped or plastered everywhere as the ?scariest movie of all time?. Any expectations I had for this movie were completely blow away. This was the first time shaky cam has been utilized properly and has been an effective tool in scaring the audience. The girl who played Nell was so convincing and creepy; you really believe this girl is possessed by the devil. Another great thing was the lack of special effects; they were only used when absolutely necessary. It basically took the best parts of Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist and blended them together, and while it did use things for both these movies it stayed completely original and its own movie .This is probably one of the best horror films made within the last 20 years.
The Last Exorcism is the epitome of a wasted opportunity. The premise is fantastic and the clever build up in documentary style is brilliant - it's just completely ruined by the ending, the same ending that seems to go hand in hand with all 'Horror mockumentaries' or 'Found footage' movies. Man Bites Dog was the best and first, Blair Witch followed suit (copied it) and now they're all at it, although this one was perhaps the worst executed (excuse the pun). It is also misleading with its poster, nothing new in the world of horror movies but annoying all the same. The title is also a bit rubbish, unfortunately though, it isn't the last exorcism, there is a sequel on the way - I wonder if they'll learn from their mistakes?
An efficient mockumentary that employs a precise pacing to follow a charlatanical Reverend who explores people for money - until he encounters more than he had bargained for. Suffice to say that it grows really terrifying, but the editing is flawed like most productions of the kind.
I've always had a soft spot for exorcism movies. Sure, they've been overdone and a lot of them have sucked. However, The Last Exorcism looked like it would be entertaining and it was for the most part. Reverend Cotton Marcus is a man who claims to be a loyal man of God, yet he believes in taking advantage of people's fears when it comes to possession and demonic activity. When he gets a call about a girl said to be possessed by a demon and he takes his crew to document the whole thing and try to disprove the idea of demonic possession. The film is presented in found footage format and it worked to the film's advantage. It gave a believable sense of all the creepy stuff involving the girl that's possessed. I actually felt like I was watching recovered footage of a possession gone wrong. The acting in the film is also good. Nothing special from most of the cast, but the girl that's possessed is downright creepy. When she's not possessed, she's a normal girl who's likable enough to be able to want to see her survive the ordeal. However, during the possession scenes she does some messed up stuff. One of those things involve beating a cat to death with the camera being used to film. If you're a big animal lover, you might be disturbed by the scene, especially because after the beating, you can catch a brief glimpse of the cat's body and it's just a bloody mess. The girl also says a lot of obscene stuff that really pushed the boundaries of what can be in a PG-13 movie. I also really liked the idea of the reverend thinking of demonic possession is also just a bunch of crap and he's out to show the world it's all in our mind. I think the film would've lost my attention if it was just some generic preacher who takes religion too seriously. You know, the guys who are all like "No,no! Electronics are an abomination against God and are of the Devil!" The film had a lot of good stuff going for it, the realism, creepiness, the atmosphere, but then the ending happened. The ending of this movie is comeplete shit. The ending doesn't really answer anything going on in the movie, it just leaves the question "Are you seriously gonna end the movie like this? Dude, what the hell just happened?" I went from enjoying the movie, to having some harsh feelings to how it all built up to a complete failure of an end. The Last Exorcism had really good potential to be a memorable exorcism movie, but it just left me with a feeling of disappointment and emptiness.
A pretty intriguing spin on the typical exorcism story. It's just unfortunate that the filmmakers drop the ball so hard at the end but the movie is still worth checking out if your looking for some creepy thrills.
Was ok up until the ridiculous ending
"Reverend, if you can't save my daughter's soul, I will."The Last Exorcism is a "found footage" horror flick about a documentary being made on the subject of fake exorcisms. A reverend who's been performing fake exorcisms for years has grown disillusioned with his actions, and travels to a small town in Louisiana to film his methods and expose his own deceptions. He does his usual thing, collects his money, and leaves to spend the night in a nearby hotel...but this particular exorcism isn't over. The Last Exorcism does some things very well. The faux documentary angle works, and so does the idea of a charlatan wanting to come clean, being confronted with the thing that he doesn't even believe in. The things he does and says during his fake exorcism ultimately make a very dangerous situation for the young, allegedly possessed girl, and he ends up having to protect her as well as attempt to find out what's really going on. The story twists and turns several times before the conclusion...perhaps too many times. The end is somewhat of a mess, to be frank. It tries too hard to keep the audience guessing, and ends up being a bit annoying, instead. And after going it's own way for the most part, the finale ends up being an almost exact mishmash of two iconic movies in the genre. It's a bit of a deflating ending, actually.The Last Exorcism is a slow-burner, and relies on atmosphere and the "realism" angle a lot more than shocks or gore. If you're okay with that, check it out. I liked it, but it's definitely a flawed experience.
This movie was penned as something a little different to what it was. I was under the impression that it was supposed to be a "documentary" type film about a pastor who didn't believe in God and set out on one last exorcism with a film crew to prove just how false his faith based teachings were. Anyways the girl turns out to actually BE possessed, throwing him into all those intricate theological questions that we have come to know and love from the cinema, as well as the immense task of actually performing a genuine exorcism. Where I come unstuck with this film is the complete lack of action. There are only a few instances where the girl even seems possessed and then, just when you thought you could cash in your chips and leave this mediocre movie behind you, the ending throws you a curve ball that smacks you right in the face and leaves you utterly bewildered. The acting was solid, even if the story line was flaky and this film did deliver some of what it said on the tin. However, marketted as a horror movie, and judged purely on those grounds, it loses a star in my eyes for the complete lack of terror and another for the insanely random ending that if anything, untied many strings in tightening loose ends. Confusing, dramatic but worth the hour and a half.
Pretty good movie. The twist of the story line was nice. It had a preacher who didn't believe in demons, yet performed "fake" exorcisms and pretended to believe in order to help out people who thought they were possessed. It was different, but executed very well. The entire movie was creepy and really satisfying. The only problem I had was the ending. The ending of the movie was the climax for sure, but it was so far-fetched, over the top and came out of nowhere. It had been so realistic throughout the entire film, but at the end everything went haywire and it was just ridiculously unbelievable. It was almost silly and the SFX at the end were not like OMG amazing. I wish the movie had gone in a different direction- a more subtle yet creepy ending that was still abrupt, but more realistic that way I would still be creeped out after I watched the film. I was creeped out for the whole movie, until the ending I was like this is so much bullshit. It was so crazy. I don't mind that the film left so many questions unanswered, I actually liked that. The writers probably got lazy and didn't feel like explaining everything to the audience, which is okay. It was still satisfying. I just wish the ending would have not been as exaggerated and dumb. Other than that, I really liked it a lot. It was really good. **SPOILER*** At the ending though, I have to wonder if the guy with the camera died, how was the documentary discovered? I hardly doubt any people go hiking in the woods of Middle of Nowhere Town, where they were filming. Maybe one of the religious crazy people got the camera and decided to air it? Or maybe they decided not to show the movie because then they would be found out. Also, if they did find the camera (and the camera was still recording when the camera guy dropped it) then we would have seen someone pick the camera up, right? In reality, the video camera should still be in the woods, or broken and not able to record anything since the camera was previously used to kill a cat. Oh well, I guess that's why they call it a mockumentary. Would've been cooler if it had been realistic or had shown someone finding the camera. After the ending, I was completely satisfied with the entire movie. The devil warned the film crew multiple times to stay the hell out of its business. He showed them pictures, he used their camera to kill a cat, he cut one of them with a knife, and he told them in the English language to leave, but the crew was persistent! They saw the pictures of themselves dying, yet they continued to get involved with a family of psychos which put them in way over their heads. They deserved it. Pretty stupid characters, which makes the movie even more unrealistic. The guy obviously didn't know how and didn't have the ability to exorcise demons, so why he chose to walk out in front of a 100ft fiery monster demon thing and preach to it is beyond me. He got his crew killed! What a bitch! Dumbass.
Louis Sweetzer: Reverend, if you can't save my daughter's soul, I will. "Believe In Him." 2010 produced a much better exorcism film than this year did. The Last Exorcism is an effective and genuinely creepy movie. I'm not a huge fan of exorcism movies either. There's a few good ones, but for the most part the genre just comes off as overly hokey in my opinion. This movie has it's moments of ridiculous acting and poor dialogue, but for the most part I was really into it the whole time. The movie is a mocumentary and the documentary filmmakers in the movie are following a Reverend who performs exorcisms, but doesn't actually believe in demons. He just always did them because it made him money and because he says he is still helping people. After he reads about a kid who died while an exorcism was being performed, he decides to do one last one and have it filmed to show that nothing about it is actually real. He takes the first letter he gets and makes his way to the home where the father thinks his daughter his possessed by a demon. The movie always doesn't feel like it is going anywhere or the characters are learning anything about the plot as it unfolds. But what it always is is entertaining. In its good scenes, it's scary. In its bad scenes, it's amusing; such as the last scene of the movie. I didn't find it to be the travesty that some have said it is. The ending isn't good by any means, but it was good for a laugh. When you look at the movie as a whole, there is no denying that it is a well made movie. It could have been even better if the makers could have cut a few ridiculous scenes and found a better way to end the movie. But all in all I am extremely satisfied with this movie, especially after seeing The Rite.
This is probably one of the very rarest cases in which the "mockumentary" genre is seldom used as an excuse to break the fourth wall. Though the last few shots are awful and do not make any sense to the film at all, it is a very suspenseful, unique horror flick, probably taking the style from Oren Peli's 2009 film PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (or at least that's what it would totally remind me of if you took out all the violence.) That said, THE LAST EXORCISM is an amazing film that I will probably watch three or four more times. Even though I am very faithful and this is contrarily a full-fledged anti-God movie (don't even TRY denying THAT one right there!), I enjoyed it very much, and it is probably the best PG-13 horror there is.
img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif/img] The found-footage genre has been abused so many times since The Blair Witch Project's surprise success, I think the only reason that it was used in The Last Exorcism was to bring in the money. But this is surprisingly not your typical run of the mill fare. There's this weird presumption nowadays that if a horror film is made to look like it was captured on a handheld camera that it will scare us more. The idea itself is preposterous and this film is proof. It manages to be creepy, thought provoking and eery without the full use of it's mockumentary style. However this is a criticism rather than a compliment, it failed to sew that illusion after the first 30 minutes. So the way it's been filmed is a failure. Other than that there are several problems. There is a lack of long and tense builds ups, a slow and overly self-explanatory beggining, and possibly one of the worst endings in recent memory. After having a good 50 minutes or so of incredibly convincing performances (particularly the promising Ashley Bell), a good number of well directed frights and some rough character development it throws absolutely everything out the window by wimping out with a brainless, unimaginative and very cliched cop out finale. To forgive it and then say the film is a solid horror piece would be absolutely pushing it. But this is the first genuinely creepy film with an Eli Roth production credit. I think his debut film Cabin Fever is acceptable, and I think the Hostel movies are lame and predictable. But backing off as producer he has teamed up with a director who knows what he's doing, up to a point. Despite it's lack of originality, it's horrible ending and it's genetic predictability, The Last Exorcism overall never fails to intrigue.
*** The first time I watched this was when it first came out, and I watched it on a bootleg copy. I wasn't really in the mood for a movie, but watched it anyway, and didn't really enjoy it. I think my mood and the copy really had a lot to do with it. I would recommend re-watching movies on dvd/blu ray if you watch it originally on a cam bootleg. You really see two different movies. I hadn't revisited this until I got a copy of the second one and thought "I don't really remember anything from the first one". So, I re-watched it, and found that it is much better than I remember. This movie is very effective and has a unique spin on exorcism movies. It's about a preacher who wants to prove that exorcisms are a scam, so he takes 2 people on a trip with him to perform an exorcism on a girl named Nell. Only, things with Nell are different and his plan doesn't quite work like he thought it would. Shown in POV(like "Blair Witch"), you get a really good sense of being there. It's not nearly as jarring as most of these movies are. Now, is it a great horror movie? Not really. I feel like it could have gone farther with some things, and the ending is still a little weird, but effective. However, it is better than a lot, and definitely worth re-watching.
you might also be interested in
Danny Trejo, Anthony Michael Hall and Mickey Rourke star in this unrated, action-packed battle for vengeance about a man who can only escape damnation by becoming the devil's outlaw.
- Rotten Tomatoes Approval Rating
- critics N/A
- Flixter Approval Rating
- audience 43%