Horror Movie: The Last Exorcism (2010; PG-13; 87 min)

I had hoped to begin my 31 Days of Horror with a true horror movie, but instead discovered a wanna-be. Needless to say, I was disappointed, not to mention cheated of almost and hour and a half of my life, dear friend, in an effort to “hold out for the good part” I was sure would be coming if I just stuck it out.

The Last Exorcism is filmed documentary-style, shaky hand-held camera and all, a la The Blair Witch. Reverend Cotton Marcus of Baton Rouge, LA, has been preaching since he was a child, and has performed numerous supposed exorcisms. Turns out, he is a bit of a magician who likes to use tricks and stunts to convince families the demon has left the building, all in an effort to support his wife and kid. As part of a documentary shoot, he agrees to answer a letter from a Mr. Sweetzer whose livestock is being slaughtered at night, and who is convinced his 16-year-old daughter Nell is possessed and responsible. Mr. Sweetzer asks the Good Reverend to perform an exorcism to rid Nell of this demon. The Reverend agrees, and performs one of his fake exorcisms, all while being filmed.

Of course, you can predict what happens next: maybe Nell really is possessed and it will all come back to haunt the Reverend, right? Well, sort of. Some decent body twisting special effects ensue, as does lots of blood and nighttime creepy baby crying noises, etc. Problem is, none of it is scary in the least. What may be perhaps the scariest part of the movie, I’m afraid, is the surprise ending, and not scary in a good OMG-How will I get to sleep tonight-I’m about to throw up and I love it, kind of way either! Instead, scary as in, What idiots came up with this ending? kind of way. So save yourself the 87 minutes and the rental fee, and go straight for the classic, The Exorcist (see my review from last year’s October archives)!

  • Top Scare: A baby’s cry
  • Heartbeats: 1 out of 5
  • Gore Factor: 2 out of 5
  • Suspension Factor: 2 out of 5
  • Recommended for: 13 or 14 and up
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