The Last Exorcism - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Last Exorcism Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 9, 2011
An efficient mockumentary that employs a precise pacing to follow a charlatan - a Reverend - who exploits 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.
Super Reviewer
November 27, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
July 16, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
½ August 23, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
September 24, 2010
Was ok up until the ridiculous ending
Super Reviewer
August 2, 2010
"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.
Super Reviewer
December 3, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
½ October 11, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
½ October 8, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
September 26, 2011
Loved it until the sci-fi like ending, but it has a good amount of scares which I liked.
Super Reviewer
February 25, 2011
Scary and well made, but ending ruined the film. The plot was well made, if the ending hadn't sucked so much it would have been betrer. The cast did well, the girl was very creepy. The scares feel good and smart, and even though the ending sucked, it terrified me. This movie was not bad, but it was no Blair Witch Project.
Super Reviewer
August 25, 2010
What a pleasant surprise! I was very impressed by the characterization and the elegant, small story of this film. There is absolutely nothing to break up the illusion of a documentary inherent in this story. Every actor in this movie gives a spellbinding performance, from Cotton Marcus the loveable charlatan with a heart of gold, to Louis Sweetzer the sincere and superstitious father, as well as his kids, Nell who may or may not be possessed and Caleb the impenetrable wall with his own agenda. I love how the longer you watch this movie, the less sure you are what exactly is going on. Until about ten minutes from the end, this story could go either way: What exactly is wrong with Nell? Is she crazy? Is she abused? Does she just want attention? Is she acually possessed? This movie reminded me a little bit of Bug in the sense that the horror creeps in so slowly and it strings you along with the hope that everything will turn out okay that when the other show finally drops, the results are devastating. The pace of this movie really lands as well, sinceI never found myself simply waiting for the demon to appear. It also successfully creates real dread in the nighttime scenes where the audience can only see what the little lens of the camera sees. Hoo. It would be hard to simgle out Ashley Bell's performance alone as stellar since everyone is great in this. She just has the most work.
Super Reviewer
April 3, 2011
A fairly average, slow to get going horror. It's basically an Exorcism version of Blair Witch. I didn't know in advance it was done in the style of a documentary. Does get a bit creepy later on, odd ending to which didn't seem to explain it all, some will like that others will be annoyed by it!
Super Reviewer
May 16, 2011
Grade: D+ (67%)

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.
Super Reviewer
½ August 25, 2010
Smart film that sneaks up and scares the hell out of you! This mock-documentary produced by Eli Roth engages instantly, thanks to an interestingly conceived lead character and a charismatic turn. Inspired by Marjoe, a 1972 documentary about fundamentalist hucksterism (a forerunner of the current trend for non-fiction editorialtainment), Patrick Fabian plays Cotten Marcus as a super-smart, glib talker who has only just started to believe that performing exorcisms might be harmful to his troubled subjects.
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.
Super Reviewer
May 8, 2011
terrible i much preferred the previous ones, theres just nothing good to say about this movie.
Super Reviewer
½ February 19, 2011
Honestly, I wasn't expecting much out of this film. However, it offers an interesting angle to the possession tale. Not only is there some genuinely thrilling moments in here, it is surprisingly well acted for a mostly unknown cast. However, the film drastically falls apart in the 3rd act. Which is tragic when you consider the onslaught of crap the horror community has recently given us.
Super Reviewer
½ February 12, 2011
The Last Exorcism, from Daniel Stamm, plays it straight before turning for the better.Shot in the style of a documentary, the film starts off as it sounds. There are interviews and the like, which is all character setup. This is fine, aside from the fact that it is quite bland and cumbersome. The film itself is a little over 80 minutes, and while that may seem brief, the interesting stuff doesn't start to pick up until the halfway point. Fortunately, the second half makes up for the first, as it satisfies with little in the way of predictability.The hand held camera style is fairly steady, so viewer dizziness isn't a huge issue. This style also works well with the suspense and creepy atmosphere, which this picture handles well in the latter half.Patrick Fabian puts on a charismatic display as Reverend Cotton Marcus. Ashley Bell also delivers a fine performance. Both are positive contributions to the movie.The Last Exorcism is a tale of two halves. Getting through the first is a challenge, but the second can be rewarding.
Super Reviewer
½ January 4, 2011
The Last Exorcism is an unexpectedly sharp little flick, packaged like a typical Lionsgate cash grab but proving itself to have some fresh new things to say about religion, the public and exorcism. If 2011's lazy disaster The Rite was an unashamed rehash of every single theme The Exorcist offered nearly 40 years ago, The Last Exorcism looks at them in a decidedly more cynical light. Spirituality is depicted as an opiate for most here, but in the hands of the intelligent it is something untenable, untrustworthy. Reverend Cotton Marcus, played in several wonderfully scaled levels of charm by Patrick Fabian, has a sophisticated understanding of the belief system that has been his bread and butter for many years. He knows that his congregation hinges on his every word, even a hilarious non-sequitur tellingly placed near the beginning of the film, and that those who pay him to exorcise their loved ones are just looking for some indirect psychological counsel. His own relationship with religion is a murky one, clarified somewhat by a story wisely narrated by Marcus and not told in flashback - the documentary form of the film is not only a sensible budgetary tactic but a great way to give it a sense of immediacy. It serves as a fantastic springboard for both the story at large, giving Marcus the impetus to do that ONE LAST EXORCISM, and for his own shifting perceptions of belief, which scaffold the film handsomely.

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.
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