“The Last Exorcism” – 2010. Dir. Daniel Stamm

With Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Caleb Landry Jones and Louis Herthum.

“I’m not saying that I’m a doctor by any means – “

“So you’re a phony.”

“That’s your word, not mine.  I perform a service that helps their minds into thinking the demon is gone.”

So, I saw “The Last Exorcism” last night.  I’m not much for horror movies, and I did take a shit on this movie when my roommate last week saw it at the midnight showing.  I mean, really?  He wouldn’t go see “Inception” or “Iron Man 2” at midnight we me but he would see “The Last Exorcism”?  That is lame.

Anyway, the story of this film is of Reverend Cotton Marcus who is more a showman than a man of God.  He knows that most churches are gimmicks, knows that faith is easily bought or persuaded.  A documentary crew is following Cotton as he opens a letter from a man requesting an exorcism.  Cotton has the crew come with him, and document what a sham exorcisms really are.

Cotton travels to this farm where a man believes his daughter is possessed by the devil.  Cotton puts on a show with a small speaker that makes demonic sounds, has 9 volt batteries hooked up finger rings to give a shock to the person he’s exorcising.

Cotton performs this half-assed exorcism, the daughter seems cured and Cotton collects the money from the father.  Cotton doesn’t have health insurance and has a son with disabilities – that’s why we don’t feel as bad that he takes the money from the man.  But…the plot thickens…the girl isn’t cured, and she might actually be possessed!  Oh my!!!

What makes this film effective is the fact that the lead of Cotton played by faceless actor Patrick Fabian is an interesting character, a lot of people may watch the film and think he’s a slimeball – but I liked his character because I think he reflects some view points that I have.

I looked up Patrick Fabian on IMDb and haven’t seen anything he’s been in.  He’s mainly been in TV shows, and since I don’t watch a lot of TV he was unrecognizable to me, which really worked.  The film is shot like a documentary which in all honesty adds to the authenticity of the story.

Once we begin to see the girl is possessed, shooting the film like a documentary allows the girl to break the fourth wall (look directly into the camera) believably and be affective.  If you liked the films “The Blair Witch Project” and “Paranormal Activity” than you probably will enjoy this film due to the way it’s shot.

The film drags at times, and almost allows us to get slightly bored.  The film takes too long to get to what is promised to us: a legit exorcism.  This film will also be compared to “The Exorcist” because that is the staple of all films that deal with exorcisms.  It’s not even close to the greatness of “The Exorcist”, but it doesn’t build itself on it – this film is more unique than I thought it would be.

This film is effective, and will give you a few jolts of horror and does keep your interest to the very end.  I think the film claims to be inspired by true events, but I don’t know if it is or not, I haven’t really read much about the film because I had no interest in seeing it, but I went on a whim last night and was pleasantly surprised.  I want to see more of Patrick Fabian, he was rock solid in it.

Rating: 7/10

Author: Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

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