The Last Exorcism (2010)

   
Directed by: Daniel Stamm

Written by:
Hut Botko & Andrew Gurland

Starring:


Patrick Fabian .... Cotton Marcus
Ashley Bell .... Nell Sweetzer
Iris Bahr ....
Iris Reisen
Louis Harthum .... Louis Sweetzer
Caleb Landry Jones .... Caleb Sweetzer

Release Dates: Los Angeles Film Festival: June, 2010; Fantasia International Film Festival: July, 2010; Toronto After Dark Film Festival: August 16, 2010; Berlin Fantasy Filmfest: August 23, 2010; Theatrical: August 27, 2010; Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival: September 14, 2010

*Images courtesy at:
www.beyondhollywood.com

Rating:

 

A troubled minister named Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) doesn't believe in posessions or demons but performs phony exorcisms in order to support his family. He wants to quit doing this but agrees to perform one last exorcism for a film crew in which he goes to a farm owned by a religious and superstitious man named Louis Sweetzer (Louis Harthum) in which he tells Cotton about his slaughtered animals claiming that his daughter named Nell (Ashley Bell) is apparently responsible for but another sibling named Caleb (Caleb Landry Jones) seems to catch on that Cotton is a phony and makes him feel unwelcome.
Cotton does his phony exorcism and gets paid but yet he finds Nell at his hotel acting sick and twisted and suggests to Louis that she needs to go see a doctor about her behavior but yet is forced to perform an exorcism for real since she has been doing deadly deeds around the farm as well as making different sounds with her voice.
With all of this Cotton and his crew are pinned to try and make poor Nell better even if they are risking their lives in order to do so.

 

I was excited when I heard that this was a found footage horror style in which I've been a fan on most of them since I saw the Blair Witch Project and it was a real treat to watch for sure.
During the beginning it shows the lead character Cotton Marcus discussing in not believing in demons or possessions as well as him being funny at his church which looked pretty fun making you want to go to church to see his humor in what he does. Plus showing his father doing some work on the history of fallen angels which seems to be a nice study on the purposes of these. Then we see others being questioned on Cotton's work like his family in which this almost seemed like a documentary on a preachers belief which made me wonder as to where the horror is here but it does get better.
Cotton decides to go to a farm area in which the family residing there claims that their daughter is possessed since some of their cattle has been slaughtered which seems to leave the film off to a nice horror start especially with a nasty kid named Caleb making them feel unwelcome which seemed quite intimidating.
There's some good peaceful moments with Cotton talking to the girl named Nell who seems to try and be sane and together which you wonder if she really is possessed since she is so gentlelike and calm as well as talking to him about her Mom and how she misses her. I found the writing on this was brought together perfectly and believeably done.
This seemed to be a nice warm up before some terror starts and then later on Cotton performs an exorcism which looked a little too comedic but then you see other clips of what he did to make it seem like an exorcism which would think to yourself "What a scumbag for conning this family just for money"
Then it starts to get terrifying making the audience thinking that something is definetely going to happen for real and it does with this girl which looks intense as well as showing a deadly drawing on a cat with blood as well as different voices speaking from inside a room when a door is shit which is another nice chilling moment to watch on the big screen. The film had to add a baby cry too since that seems to be commonly used in a flick like this one but this time Cotton and the other film investigators finds out by what is really happening there.
Yet there's a scene where Nell uses the camera to close into a cat and bashes it to death in which I am sick of having a cat being killed in a horror movie. It seems so common in the films today. However this seems to be a drawing card to the story.
There's more great stuff like Nell speaking differently and the possessive demon in her body trying to trick Cotton and his gang about leaving this poor girl alone in which the voice sounded incredibly done and evil sounding. It seemed to work on the screen without a doubt.
Then there's a real spooky scene near the end of the film which will be a surprise for the viewers but it will psych you out big time.
Bottom line is this is a shocking mocumentary which seems to be incredibly effective and not seeming phony like at all. It could be an inspiration to future mocumentary horror flicks like Blair Witch Project was in the very beginning. I hope a sequel will happen since it left a door open for one.

The acting is very well done as lead actor Patrick Fabian (Cotton Marcus) seemed to bring alot of humor in his role as a minister in his local area along with really getting to the point by what he says discussing his job. He also shows a nice patient behavior in his role too in which he brought alot into his role without a doubt. He performs very well when he discusses about exorcisms and demonic possessions in which he looks believeable when he talks to the camera about all of it. There's also nice witty moments on him preaching at a church which shows some good timing too.
Ashley Bell
(Nell Sweetzer) really did her part as a possessed teenage girl showing a softness to her part in the beginning and acting timid but tame along with showing some nice crying emotions too in which she brings this across well making out that there's nothing possessive about her but then she really knew on how to go into a demonic rage with everything that she did with her snarly behavior and evil expressions too. She does well going in a rage and trying to attack and go wild. I'd say that she was the best in the whole cast and can go far with acting after watching her in this film.
L
ouis Harthum (Louis Sweetzer) was very good with his role as a family man running a farm in which he showed a good stern behavior when he needed to as well as acting unusual with his lifestyle on superstitions seeming to study this role very well along with a nice rough look on him. A nice moment with him aggressively scolding his onscreen son which looked believeable on a strange father at a farm towards his son. He totally fit the part well.
Caleb Landry Jones
(Caleb Sweetzer) knew on how to portray his role as a redneck kid acting out of it when he talks and really came across as quite intimidating with his threatening attitude in which he was a nice key role to the story of this flick. He certainly brought across a perfectly unfriendly appeal to everyone which was impressive
. In a scene we see him getting nasty towards some of his fellow actors which looked pretty convincing on how he was performed to do so. There's a nice approach by him coming up towards his fellow actor and giving him threats which seemed intimidating and realistic on a redneck kid towards another person.

A horse's insides are torn out
A cat is slaughtered but the shots are quick
A guys face is stabbed

The music is nicely done and will surprise you just when most scene's in this film are quiet you do hear the odd accoustic guitar playing for the pleasant moments. Plus there's great high intense violin squealing for when the tense scene's happen mainly for the possesive moments. There's also many groaning sounds along with scraping noises and some wood banging sound effects too which sounded superbly done in which was composed by Nathan Barr.