** Disclaimer: This rant includes spoilers so I strongly suggest that if you do actually want to watch this film and attempt to enjoy it by all means but you should probably stop reading this article. This is not designed to ruin everyone else’s enjoyment, but stops them wasting hours of their lives on films I perceived to being a bit poo. While I may not discuss the entire plot, there will be elements whereby any attempt to create a facade by the film will be shattered. You have been warned! **
Under the pretence of an informative documentary, The Last Exorcism is first person camera film documenting the events of Reverend Cotton Marcus, a preacher who has lost his faith and aims to expose the scam of exorcisms and the order by exposing the scam of exorcisms with the documentary. He answers a letter to a farmer, who claims his daughter is possessed by the devil.
Why It’s Crap
While I’m totally not a fan of shaky camera films like Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project, this film did also give me a bit of motion sickness when I’m watching. The beginning half an hour is sheer boredom, although I can appreciate them trying to set the scene, but all the background crap was just irritating.
The whole process of trying to disprove exorcisms as pomp and circumstance is interesting, especially when you see all the sleight of hand tricks to create the illusion of demonic possession, a bit like watching the Masked Magician. He sets up the room with like gas producing crucifixes, a whole host of “demon” sounds and miniature hydraulics to make furniture and pictures move. While it looks like being an elaborate magic trick, it’s all in vain as the gril, Nell, is in fact possessed by something, as she continues to act strange after the staged exorcism takes place. They take her to hospital much to her father’s objection and is completely opposed to her having any kind of psychological examination, rousing Cotton’s suspicions that Nell is being sexually and physically abused by her father. They follow them back to the farm where the brother Caleb has a lacerated face and Nell is chained to a bed. What the fuck?
Anyways the father is then accused of incest, pretty much like everyone else in the deep south, Nell is actually pregnant, the father whips out the obligatory shotgun like any stereotypical hick and Cotton attempts another exorcism (of course he’s a phony therefore can’t actually do proper exorcisms) which brings out the demon to reveal itself as Abalam. This is possibly the only part which was ok as the poor girl contorts and twists her body as proof of possession, claiming her pregnancy was brought about from a night spent with some local lad called Logan.
This is the point where the film just descends into complete crap. Any sane person would have got the hell out of there once they phoned the local preacher for help. While driving away they notice the inconsistency with the Pastor’s story when they meet Logan and find out he’s gay. Normally, the film should have ended there as any sane person would have gone home. But these survival impaired idiots go back to save the girl rather than phone the police. They enter the house to find a host of cliche satanic symbols painted in blood like pentagrams and other sumerian scribbles only to find a bonfire out the back where they see a congregation of people being led by the Pastor in full red cloak performing some kind of Satanic ritual. Nell who is chained to a table delivers an inhuman foetus which looked more like a jelly baby of which they throw into the fire claiming Abalam will be manifested, full with really rubbish demon sounds again. Cotton regains his faith and legs it forward brandishing a crucifix like a royal cock and the sound and camera people are chased down and dismembered by the hick locals.
This film took way too long to get going as it was more like a shit documentary on Channel 4 which you would just turn over through lack of interest. The cover of the DVD (right) is misleading as we didn’t see the possessed girl climbing upside down on the ceiling at any point. By the time something happens, the people are too fucking stupid to do anything pragmatic and end up just being fodder. The ending is complete crap and the numerous times the protagonists should have just left and gone home instead of this ridiculous meddling just adds to my frustration of sitting through a pointless film. I would urge you to not waste your time seeing this rubbish. The camera work is shonky and induces motion sickness, the characters are all irritating and get no empathy whatsoever, so when their inevitable demise occurred, I wasn’t surprised in the slightest.