The Last Exorcism – Quick Review

I went and saw The Last Exorcism and wanted to share my thoughts. I won’t give away the movie or offer any spoilers since that would ruin the experience.

Last Exorcism is shot in the same style as Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity. It’s a lost documentary and has that shaky, much of the movie shot in the dark, can’t see everything sort of style. For the most part I like this style. I think the darker scenes and not being able to see things outside of the camera’s vision is pretty fun.

We follow Cotton Marcus, a man who has been raised to be a Preacher since he was young. His father spoke of demons and performed hundreds of exorcisms. Cotton followed in his footsteps but admits that he’s been pulling the wool over the eyes of his congregation. He’s a showman and readily admits it. He says people all have the same problems so he dazzles them with the word of the Lord to cure what ails them.

To prove his point he asks a camera crew to come along and film him working his magic. He gets dozens of pleas for help from people who think they’re possessed. He says he’ll pick a letter at random and they’ll follow it wherever it takes them. Before opening the letter he gives the details on what it’ll contain because they’re always the same.

So off they go to the Sweetzer farm to perform an exorcism with the camera crew documenting the process.

And we’ll leave the plot there so as not to ruin anything.

The movie has a lot of twists and turns. There’s a lot of information coming at you about the series of events that has happened to this family. Nell, the young daughter, is obviously troubled. Caleb, the son, is angry and hostile. Louis, the father, is overly protective, suspicious, angry, is withholding a lot of information and may have a few dark secrets of his own. You immediately know something isn’t right.

The movie was a lot less scary than I had expected but it’s a moody movie with plenty of wrecked old houses, rusted cars, sagging barns and there is a sense of something lurking throughout. You’re drawn into this odd little world and these bizarre residents. And you know for damn sure everyone is lying. So it’s more of a drama, an unraveling of the clues to figure out what’s going on.

But right as you’re starting to get all the pieces, the movie is rocketing toward the final scene. And those final moments are hectic and somewhat confusing. I wasn’t sure what was going on and how we got to this point and then all of a sudden the movie was over.

In one way the ending makes sense and spins everything off in a whole new direction. In another way, it’s almost out of place from everything we learned up to that point. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. Honestly I think it’s one of those things you have to watch again now that you have all the information. I guess that’s the point though, to leave you confused and wondering.

Personally, I like the movie but if anything I wish it had been longer and had more detail. There is a lot more they could have added to support the ending they chose. I had a good time though and think this sits well with movies like Paranormal Activity and Blair Witch.

Who else went to see Last Exorcism? What did you think?

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