Director: Daniel Stamm
Starring: Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Iris Bahr, Louis Herthum, Caled Landry Jones
Believe in Him.
Cotton is a fourth-generation preacher who have spread the word of God and performed exorcism frauds all his life. He is now sick of doing this and decides to expose the truth about exorcisms and how they are done in front of a live video crew. He takes the crew to a farmhouse down in the south where he is gonna make an exorcism performance on a 16-year-old girl, but something does not go right this time.
The Last Exorcism uses the hand-held camera style popularized by The Blair Witch Project and done again quite a few times over the last ten years in movies such as Paranormal Activity, [Rec] and Cloverfield. While a lot of people hate this style, I find myself quite enjoying a lot of movies that use it since it gets the viewer more directly involved. Since I’m also a big fan of exorcism movies and the whole concept of being overtaken by a demonic or satanic entity frightens me this movie should be a perfect match for me. That is, if the movie was good!
The first half of the movie feels like a spoof on the previous exorcism movies, even having some rather obvious references, and then it decides to be a horror movie in the last half. It ends up not succeeding in any of it and becomes very dull and un-engaging as the time goes by. The last ten minutes does provide a big discussion topic since it’s an attempt to do a unique twist, but frankly it was not interesting or well done and at that point I was careless of what the movie was trying to accomplish.
Patrick Fabian plays Cotton and he is the one who is responsible for approximately 75% of the dialogue. His character comes off a bit goofy and I think that a lifelong preacher would should have a lot more charisma and charm than Fabian is able to project here.
Ashley Bell plays the young 16-year-old girl who is the subject of the possession and to be honest, she just doesn’t look like a teenager. She was 24 by the time of filming and I think she was very miscast here. Louis Herthum plays her father and his character is underdeveloped and unexciting.
This is the first movie Daniel Stamm has directed and he did a decent job, although with more experience I’m sure he would be able to tighten it up a little more. He is supposed to be doing the american remake of Martyrs and I don’t think that I will ever give that one a chance. It’s about time that young directors gets to do their own thing instead of having to do crappy remakes of great foreign movies or classic horror movies that we all love. The hand-held camera style has been done much better before and the scares that they try to do with it doesn’t work for me in this one.
The Last Exorcism becomes another forgettable film that reminds us that there still isn’t a single movie that tackles the possession subject that can reach the heights of terror delivered from the legendary The Exorcist. Skip this one and rewatch The Exorcist instead.