The Last Exorcism Reviews
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.
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.
"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.
The Last Exorcism had something going for about 75 minutes and then the last 10 minutes happened and I literally said, "What!?". Now I'm going to be clear with my statement, my response was not out of confusion (even though that had to do with it somehow) but out of anger. I was loving the the movie up til the end that is so absurd to be called a "twist". More about the ending later.
The Last Exorcism takes the Blair-Witch style of direction that is becoming more popular each year. The film follows Reverend Cotton Marcus performing one exorcism to show how fake they really are. He brings with him a camera man, and a sound person as "witnesses". He goes to Louisiana where a father believes that his daughter is possessed by a demon. The livestock have been cut open and left for dead, Nell wakes up with blood all over her and has no idea where it came from, and his son wants the Reverend to leave.
After a hilarious fake exorcism, where the film breaks in the middle to show how the bed shook, roars appeared, and smoke came out of the cross, the reverend goes to a motel and plans to leave in the morning. But when Nell appears in the Reverend's motel room in the middle of the night, the movie turns into a suspenseful thrill ride. From this point on, scares come from every direction. Some of them are very clever, and some are not as strong as the others.
So the beginning informs the viewer of what an exorcism is, shows a fake exorcism and most of the laughs come from here. The middle shows most of the scares and reveals that the Reverend is dealing with a possessed or mentally disturbed teenager and a psycho father with a shotgun. The ending is . . . horrible. It was like the screenwriter and the director came together and did a "maybe we can pull this off" idea for the ending because it is obvious that the film makers were clueless on how to finish the film. The ending throws such a curveball that it is confusing to even comprehend. The ending makes no sense with the rest of the film and it shows.
Without the ending I would've gave this film a fantastic score - probably low 90s or high 80s because I was in love with the most of the film. But I can't get by the ending. The ending was absurd, confusing to the plot, and a ridiculous twist. I don't know if this film will have a sequel (personally I don't think it will) but if it does and continues after the ending of this film, I will have to be pushed into the movie theater. For 3/4s of the film, The Last Exorcism succeeds but just be prepared for a whacked out ending.
The plot works through several interpretations, wavering between supernatural and psychological solutions. Though we don't get a clear answer until late in the day, the pastor's scepticism is challenged by hard-to-argue-with supernatural happenings - and terror comes as the situation spirals out of the control of the seemingly confident, above-it-all preacher man.
To get to the gritty stuff, the horror is relatively effective. There are blessedly few cheap jump scares, and though some of the tried-and-true possession tropes have clearly lost their sheen (little girls contorting inexplicably? Yawwwwn) suspense is built both through the sinister, muted atmosphere and the incredible darkness present in the Sweetzer family's dysfunction. Louis Sweetzer seems eternally a hair's breadth away from grabbing his shotgun and blowing Satan clean out of his daughter. To the family's credit, all of them give excellent performances, most notably Ashley Bell. Her overwhelming eagerness to please rests at heartbreaking odds with the disturbed things churning around inside her, and if you can get past her distracting likeness to Michael Cera, she proves herself a talented explorer of both timid and angry expression.
The one aspect of The Last Exorcism that doesn't seem to sit with people is the ending. It is a weak point, I concede this much, but not a dealbreaker like most label it as. It becomes much more palatable if you consider it in the context of what Marcus has to say about small towns; they're breeding grounds for bizarre superstitions, theological strife and violence of all forms. It's hard to say more without spoilers, and this justification is not complete absolution for what ultimately amounts to a rather lazy conclusion. The ride is definitely worth the time, in my opinion, but some may want to check out before the last two minutes.