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The Last Exorcism 2010

May 6, 2011

Hello all. Mark Here.  I agree with John on his review. The main character is solid…the others around him not so much. I get the ending but it still lost my attention quicker then I lose my keys. Watch the movie Insidious instead. Thanks John!

The Last Exorcism (2010)

 By John Leavengood

 MY CALL:  This movie is to exorcism movies what American Psycho is to slasher flicks—a well-done satire.  Not as well-done as American Psycho, not by a long shot.  But it’s a good satire.  While scare-seekers will be disappointed, well-seasoned horror-goers should find this change of pace to be a fun ride.  [B+]

IF YOU LIKE THIS, THEN WATCH:  Duh…The Exorcist (1973).

FOR THE SUPERFANS:  Does Patrick Fabian look familiar to you?  Do you just not know what movie you saw him in?  It’s because you probably never actually saw him in a movie.  He has, however, done tons of small roles on major TV shows.

 Patrick Fabian is immediately likeable as a sensationalistic minister (Cotton) in this documentary-style horror.  He is an exorcist who openly calls exorcism a scam and does not even believe in demonic possession, maybe not even in God.  His son has a Novocain-y, cottonball-muffled voice which adds to the endearing set up that serves its purpose well as I begin to care about the protagonist and his family.

            To prove his point before going legit Cotton decides to have his camera crew follow him on one last exorcism job, which he picks randomly from an abundance of “save us” mail.  His pick: Ivanwood, Texas.  During the drive to the site of this last hoax he shares his observation that this poor, largely illiterate area is a breeding ground for the demons and superstition that fill the pockets of would-be exorcists.  He is amused when he has the opportunity to support his point simply by chatting with some locals.  It’s a bit mean to small-towners, but cutely done.  Our exorcist is very charismatic and the movie has a foundation of humorous charm that keeps me grinning.

            As we are introduced to our victem, a young girl named Nell from a shallow breeding pool, we are bombarded by nauseating innocence.  Cotton asks to see the young girl’s room and he proceeds to “rig” it (unbeknownst to the victim and her family) like he’s a producer for an episode of Ghost Hunters.  After performing a mock exorcism on the girl—with Cotton’s amusing behind-the-scenes commentary—he pockets what hard-earned cash her father managed to rustle up and leaves.

            From this point on, the movie takes a more serious turn.  Cue weird!  Weird.  But still not creepy or scary.  Despite the non-horrifying nature of this satirical horror, I’m gonna’ say see it anyway.  The first half was REALLY well done in terms of developing a likeable antihero and the documentary within the movie was well-orchestrated.  These two elements could not have worked without one another and their product was something noteworthy.  The second half of the movie experimented with some things which, I think, blew up in the director’s face.  But hey, perfect movies are rare.

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