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John’s Horror Corner: The Last Exorcism (2010), a well-executed horror satire that remains creepy while drawing the occasional smile.

March 2, 2013

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 WATCH:  Duh…The Exorcist (1973).

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; especially the ending.  But hey, perfect movies are rare.

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  1. John’s Horror Corner: The Last Exorcism 2 (2013) | Movies, Films & Flix
  2. John’s Horror Corner: Grave Encounters 2 (2012) | Movies, Films & Flix
  3. John’s Horror Corner: The Devil Inside (2012) | Movies, Films & Flix
  4. John’s Horror Corner [INDEX] | Movies, Films & Flix
  5. The Day (2011), when big risks, low budgets and strong female leads produce greatness! | Movies, Films & Flix
  6. John’s Horror Corner: The Unholy (1988), demon seductress versus Catholicism | Movies, Films & Flix
  7. John’s Horror Corner: Byzantium (2012), bringing a fresh, intelligent perspective to the secret lives of vampires | Movies, Films & Flix
  8. John’s Horror Corner: Smothered (2014), an honest, campy, bad, fun horror comedy featuring murder by breast smothering. | Movies, Films & Flix
  9. Deliver Us From Evil (2014), and deliver ME from this uninteresting, boring possession movie. | Movies, Films & Flix
  10. John’s Horror Corner: In the Dark (2015), just another demonic possession movie longing for a better budget, more substance, and a less mundane exorcism. | Movies, Films & Flix
  11. John’s Horror Corner: Nothing Left to Fear (2013), a mediocre religious horror story about a small town with a dark secret. | Movies, Films & Flix
  12. John’s Horror Corner: The Pyramid (2014), death by starving feral Sphinx cats and weak Egyptian death Gods. | Movies, Films & Flix
  13. John’s Horror Corner: Willow Creek (2013), a cleverly made bigfoot monster movie that revitalizes found footage and reminds us that characters are far more important than creatures. | Movies, Films & Flix
  14. John’s Horror Corner: Ava’s Possessions (2015), humorously addressing what happens “after” an exorcism…like support groups and warrants. | Movies, Films & Flix
  15. John’s Horror Corner: Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016), so much more than “Ouija 2,” Flanagan delivers a more mainstream horror movie LOADED with excellent scares, writing, acting and a creepy possessed child! | Movies, Films & Flix
  16. John’s Horror Corner: The Crucifixion (2017), Xavier Gens’ exorcism movie that delivers all the gorgeous shots but none of the desired dread. | Movies, Films & Flix
  17. John’s Horror Corner: Ghost Stories (2017), a horror anthology for beginners. | Movies, Films & Flix
  18. John’s Horror Corner: Malevolent (2018), an unimpressively formulaic Netflix original about scam ghost hunters and a haunted house. | Movies, Films & Flix
  19. John’s Horror Corner: Butterfly Kisses (2018), an excellent pseudo-meta-mockumentary about a documentary about found footage about an urban legend. | Movies, Films & Flix
  20. John’s Horror Corner: Lake Mungo (2008), an Australian documentary-style “ghost” film exploring guilt and loss. | Movies, Films & Flix
  21. John’s Horror Corner: Hell House LLC (2015), a documentary-style found footage horror about a Halloween haunted house-gone-wrong. | Movies, Films & Flix
  22. John’s Horror Corner: The McPherson Tape (1989; aka UFO Abduction), a very early found footage film about alien abduction that paved the way for Signs (2002). | Movies, Films & Flix

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