10:00 am EDT, October 18, 2011

John’s Horror Movie Review: ‘The Last Exorcism’

Last week, I brought you the first in a series of horror movie reviews with The Shining. It’s on to the second review, a movie that actually gave me chills down my neck, The Last Exorcism!

If there is one thing I don’t mess with it’s demons.

I don’t like the paranormal or the idea of religion interfering with earthly happenings. So as you might guess, I was very reluctant to watch this movie with my friends, but eventually settled myself behind a blanket (with only my eyes peeking out) and decided to watch the movie.

The Last Exorcism, in short, is an excellent horror movie. It was released in 2010 and despite what people may think, does not have anything to do with The Exorcist or The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

The movie is filmed like a documentary, with the actors and actresses addressing the camera several times. Much like The Blair Witch Project, this element of cinematography makes it all feel a lot more real than if it were filmed from a narrative point-of-view.

The film focuses around a preacher who has been called to a home by a man to perform an exorcism on his daughter. His daughter apparently wakes up in the middle of the night with blood all over her clothes on a regular basis. Oh, and apparently livestock on the family farm get beaten and slaughtered to death at some point in the night as well. The catch is that the preacher admits to being a fraud and only performs these “exorcisms” as means of getting by financially. Regardless of if he’s a fraud or not, some serious animal-killing is going down on this farm. After he and his film crew visit this house, things get crazy and we the viewer are left to figure out whether the daughter is actually possessed or if she is faking it.

There are several scenes in this film that freak me out. Specifically the scene where there are deep male voices coming from her room, and the film crew enter only to see her sitting on her bed alone in the dark. Another scene that I remember freaking me out was when they all head out to the barn and the daughter pretty much breaks her neck and changes her voice all up. That moment gave me chills down my neck.

My one gripe about this movie, which apparently I share with a lot of people who have seen it, is the ending. I won’t give it away for those who may want to check this movie out after reading this review but it seemed very rushed, over-the-top supernatural and not really in line with the tone and feel of the rest of the movie. It looks like they are already working on a sequel which will be ready for theaters next year!

If you’re looking for a fantastic paranormal, edge-of-your-seat thriller that will keep you wondering and guessing what is going to happen and why it’s happening, you should definitely check out The Last Exorcism.

Fun facts about The Last Exorcism:

  • Earned over ten times its budget ($1.8 million) and recouped all its marketing costs ($20 million) during its opening weekend in the US.
  • The film’s poster was banned in the UK after receiving complaints deeming the image offensive.
  • A crew member’s brother was a real exorcist, and was on set advising director Daniel Stamm. He makes an unbilled cameo in the film and can be seen to the left of Reverend Cotton Marcus when he delivers his sermon about the Prince of Lies.

Have you seen The Last Exorcism? Let me know what you thought of the movie in the comments below!

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