Box art for The Last Exorcism

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.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
2 out of 5
4 out of 5

Tense "documentary" has some blood, lots of scares.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Last Exorcism is a fictional horror movie shot in documentary style, much like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. It's not as relentlessly scary as those R-rated films -- there's a long setup before anything horrific happens -- but once it does get going, it can be very violent and highly disturbing. Though there's some blood and plenty of "jump" scenes, most of the horror is suggested rather than shown, but that actually makes it all the more vivid to the viewer's imagination. There's discussion of a character with a drinking problem, as well as talk of potential rape and incest.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the film's violence. How much was actually shown? Was it more or less scary not being able to see everything?
  • Does the "documentary" format make the film more or less scary?
  • Is Cotton Marcus a good person, or is he a bad person who's deceiving people? What does he learn over the course of the film?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 22
    see all The Last Exorcism reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: 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.

- Andrew O'Hehir,, Friday, August 27, 2010

Fresh: It's difficult to find an ending for horror movies. Often the getting there is the fun. That's especially true here.

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rotten: It's hard to be frightened by something when you're too busy laughing at it.

- Chris Bumbray, JoBlo's Movie Emporium, Monday, July 26, 2010

Audience Reviews

2 stars

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?

- SirPant, Thursday, August 16, 2012

3 stars

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.

- blacksheepboy, Saturday, August 4, 2012

2 stars

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.

- fb100000716838411, Monday, July 16, 2012