The Last Exorcism…Much To be Skeptical About

After Jonah Hex and The Last Airbender, I really thought my days of walking out of the theater pissed off this year were far behind me.  And then there was last week’s press screening of The Last Exorcism.  This is not how I usually start off my reviews, but I’m going to get this off my chest right now…I hated The Last Exorcism.  If I had a choice, I think I would actually love to watch Bounty Hunter over this again.  There I said it.  I hated it.  Damn!  I feel better now!  It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off of me.

For those of you living in a cave the last few weeks, Lionsgate’s The Last Exorcism is a horror film (if you can call it that) directed by Daniel Stamm and produced by Eli Roth (who made the much respected Hostel films).  It stars Patrick Fabian, Iris Bahr and Louis Herthum.  To say I have been looking forward to this film all year long would be an understatement.  Being a huge fan of the original cult classic, The Exorcist, I live for these kind of films.

The press screening started off with a pre-recorded video message of Eli Roth asking moviegoers to “tweet” how much they loved the film online.  I get it.  I really do.  Everybody is starving and money is tight.  But c’mon!  Really?  Have we as a society become that dependent on one-liners from Twitter?  I sure hope not, or else our planet is in worse shape than ever imaginable.

Here’s the kicker…I actually liked The Last Exorcism until the very last ten minutes of the film when the inevitable happened with it…it ended.  And in the most abrupt way too!  I heard some reviewers behind me praising it, but I was so upset by the ending that I walked out disgusted knowing I would never get those 80+ minutes of my life back.

Honestly, the film has a pretty unique and raw visual style to it.  What would you say if I told you this was not an Exorcist-like film in the traditional sense?  Would you believe me?  Instead, the film plays out more like The Blair Witch Project did with its “found footage” approach as a two-person crew follows around Reverend Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian), an evangelical preacher, who has made quite the name for himself in the field of exorcisms.

After news breaks of a girl who dies of suffocation during an exorcism he decides to do one last exorcism himself, this time documented, in an effort to expose the fraud of his life’s work and ministry.  Pretty brave, huh?  He picks up a random letter from a farmer (Louis Herthum), who asks for help in driving out the devil from his afflicted daughter, Nell (Ashley Bell).  Even I have to admit, at this point, the movie is moving along great.  The fresh and unique storyline really pulled me in from the start and I was ready for one “hell” of a hair-raising ride.  Unfortunately, the ending bluntly ruined everything for me.  Coupled with the fact that every chance they had to make the audience literally jump out of their seats was wasted.  I know some reviewers will argue and say they actually like the approach Eli and gang took here, but not me.  When I go to a horror movie, I want to be shocked, scared and have chills going down my spine.  Sadly, I felt none of these things here.

As I sit here and sip my last slug of ice tea, I ponder seriously about what advice I have for theatergoers out there that want to see this.  IF YOU MUST see this film, do so in the cheapest way possible (matinee, coupons, etc…).  However, I would much rather see you wasting your time on this with a free rental from Blockbuster or your Netflix account.  If you are going into this film expecting to have the bejesus scared out of you like the classic Exorcist did so many years ago, then stay VERY far away.  If you are a fan of the slow brooding horror film Rosemary’s Baby and don’t mind The Village-like endings, then maybe…just maybe…this may be your diamond in the rough.  The choice is yours!  Drink responsibly.


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

6 Responses to “The Last Exorcism…Much To be Skeptical About”

  1. Gerard Iribe

    I’ll rent this.

  2. Gregg

    I have come across nothing but negative feedback regarding this film.

  3. Brian White

    @ Gerard… I finally agree with u!

    @ Gregg… critically speaking, I am a minority here…lots of peeps calling this very original…

  4. Aaron Neuwirth

    Yeah, what’s more original than a film made from \found footage\ or having an Exorcist perform an Exorcism on a young girl. Already in fresh territory there, and then someone thought to combine the two!

    It’s strange how many people are latching onto this movie as if it’s something really creative. I agree with Brian, this movie wasn’t good, despite it’s \strong twitter following.\

  5. Gerard Iribe

    C’mon guys, it has a 69% fresh rating on rotten tomatoes. It sounds like a hit to me.


  6. Brian White

    Hey…I’m not going to say I’m not the minority here. I loved the film until the last 10 minutes. Those last ten minutes were so awful that it made the film completely unwatchable again to me. Point in case, bring on BOUNTY HUNTER again, because I’m never watching this one again. The title has it right. This is THE LAST EXORCISM for me.