12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2011
After deciding that I'd get a ton of new horror flicks for my much neglected DVD I purchased the Last Exorcism. It's had some beatings in the reviews but I found it to be not that bad.
Yep, it's a mocumentary and I'm all for those, though the formula certainly isn't ground breaking. The acting is well done and I thought the casting was very good indeed.
I agree with others who say that the final scene is a little over the top and a reach of the imagination but as long as you don't shell out a great deal of money on this film then it can be an interesting diversion for an evening. It has the added benefit of being the only horror flick in five years of actually making me jump. It was only once, but it was there. Having seen the film I would recommend it with the proviso of 'Don't pay oodles' for it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2013
I was not expecting much after such negative reviews but this really isn't such a bad film, the story keeps you interested and is paced out well with a build up to the actual exorcism but its worth the watch, there is not much in the way of scares as such its more of a character building film and is well acted, there are a few freaky scenes like when she's cracking her bones and bending over backwards!! I would say its worth checking out for a cheap price I got it for a bargain £4 on bluray and it was well worth it, there are tons of features too and some good commentaries one of them by Eli Roth and he does go into some depth on things!! Certainly is no exorcist but is still fun and original. Look out for part 2.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Reverend Cotton Marcus is a happily married, forty-something, fourth generation evangelical preacher from Baton Rouge, who has a lucrative speciality in exorcisms. He's cynical and disbelieving about the people he helps, thinking that the families have serious issues other than demonic possessions, and that their cases are entirely bogus. Cotton indulges families who think that one of their number is possessed and he plays along with their delusions, using clever electronic trickery to fake the presence of evil spirits. However, he decides to perform one last exorcism and gets followed about by a film crew, who film the events which the viewer gets to see in this 'found footage" movie.
Reverend Marcus gets called out to the secluded Louisiana farmhouse of Louis Sweetzer, who states that his livestock are being slaughtered through the night, and he thinks that it's the work of the Devil. Louis is a hard drinking, fifty-something farmer with a chippy teenage son named Caleb. The farmer is convinced that his softly spoken and personable teenage daughter, Nell, is possessed by the Devil and responsible for the very bloody deaths of his cattle. Cotton performs one of his very theatrical exorcisms on his first night at the farmhouse, but he later discovers that the girl's behaviour is far more disturbing, inexplicable and violent than he ever could have imagined...
This is a fair example of the "found footage" sub-genre of horror movies. It's competently acted with a straight-forwards storyline, and makes do with a minimalist film score, relying much more on unnerving sound effects. It plays out like a hybrid of The Blair Witch Project and The Exorcist, and although it's watchable, its main failing is a lack of pausibility about what the adults do in the face of Nell's bizarre behaviour. At no point does anybody call out for any emergency services, to help them with a girl who has all the signs of being seriously clinically disturbed, and I found that really hard to swallow - the film doesn't even bother with the usual artificial plot device of there being no mobile signal available to call for help.
All in all, it's not a bad horror flick, but it's not in the same league as other "found footage" chillers such as Afflicted, The Conspiracy, The Covenant, V/H/S, V/H/S 2 and REC.
Thank you very much for kindly taking the time to read this review.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2013
When I heard that this was going to be yet another 'found-footage' movie, I was a little wary at first of even watching this. But, I have to say it certainly delivers, & is an ingenuous twist on the 'exorcist' theme that is well worth watching.
The plot is set up at the beginning with the central character of Rev Marcus - a former evangelical minister who is almost now a born-again atheist. He has routinely performed 'exorcisms' throughout his career on the more unfortunate of his superstitious faithful, but at the same time never believed himself that what he was doing was anything other than an elaborate charade.
Now living a more honest life away from religion, he decides one final time to carry out an exorcism - & to film the event for posterity. This takes him away from his home in Baton Rouge into more rural Louisiana, & the remote farm of fundamentalist Christian Louis Sweetzer - whose repressed & seemingly innocent daughter is apparently possessed by a demon....
The plot builds nicely, & there are all the expected 'jumps' & shaky camera footage you would expect. The story is well played out, &, despite its far-fetched theme, always seems believable. Ashley Bell is excellent as the possessed Nell Sweetzer, combining a fresh-faced, wide-eyed innocence with the underlying schizophrenic menace that her 'possession' demands.
Unusually for a film such as this too, a little incidental music punctuates the action at certain points, but doesn't impinge on the realism.
Patrick Fabian is great too as the Rev, forever wearing his suit & appearing to be in control, until circumstances start to unravel around him...
I've no idea why this film has received such negative reviews from some quarters - if you want big-budget horror or torture-porn, then this probably isn't for you. But if you enjoyed Rec, Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity & the like, then you will certainly enjoy this.
Quite a twist at the end too that is well-worth the wait & quite unexpected.
on 4 February 2014
Cotton Marcus was raised by his father to be a preacher. Filmmaker Iris Reisen and cameraman Daniel Moskowitz make a documentary about his life.
He tells that exorcisms are frauds but the results are good for the believers because they believe it is true.
When Cotton is summoned by farmer Louis Sweetzer to perform an exorcism on his daughter Nell, Cotton sees the chance to prove to the documentary crew what he has just told.
Cotton performs the exorcism on Nell, exposing his tricks to the camera, but sooner they learn that the dysfunctional Sweetzer family has serious problems......
So it's about the 97th found footage movie to be released, and strangely, this is one of the more interesting ones. Forget the fact that Eli Rothschild name is on this, he hasn't done anything since Hostel 2, and take into account that this is a low budget movie, with a no name cast, scaring the daylights out of you.
And it's all down to the portrayal of Nell. She is such an innocent child, full of life and love, that when the inevitable happens, it's not just frightening, it's actually quite distressing too.
So for an hour, we have a really great found footage horror, which from the connotations of events during the film, is not going to end well for the crew involved.
And then the makers of the film just lose the plot of this film and then some. What happens in the last fifteen minutes is ridiculous, and to think, the makers of Paranormal Activity 3 stole this idea.
If they had done something a little bit more low key, it would have been a triumph, but they did something the exact opposite, which ruins the rest of the film.
The devil deserves better than this! A rather smarmy individual who having been raised from an early age to be a firebrand preacher come exorcist decides that he doesn't (or never did) believe in 'the cause' after all (but did enjoy the financial rewards it brought) decides to expose the exorcism business masquerading as out of a concern for others.
So setting out with a small camera crew he decides to risk irreparably damaging a young girl for life by first confirming and convincing her and her deluded father that she is indeed possessed by a powerful demon and then performing his ritual to rid her of said beastie. All of this is done for heroic reasons mind; to show the documentary crew what a lot of tosh it all is.
Things go pear shaped after this with a lot of running about, shaky cam, demonic screaming, body contortions etc before its conclusion interrupts things.
There are a number of problems with it. The story just doesn't hang together very well. Whilst the characterisations are, to varying degrees, convincing, their reasoning and motivations are not. The whole participation was a bit reckless and unprofessional as well as unethical and quite possibly illegal as far as the questionnable actions of the fraudulent preacher and film crew were concerned. What tiny level of realism/atmosphere is ruined anyway by the imbecilic decision to put music and sound effects in the background of this 'discovered footage' documentary film.
The film just felt quite hollow. Maybe it's Eli Roth's association with it. A film that has a potentially interesting tale to tell, has ideas thrown at it but just falls quite flat halfway through.
It's watchable but underwhelming. There's not a scene in it which really hits the spot apart from maybe one involving the family cat. It's not scary, is quite contrived and doesn't add anything to the genre.
Okay, as any horror fan knows, ‘found footage’ films are ‘in’ right about now. It seems anyone can run round shaking a camera for ninety minutes and call the result a ‘found footage’ horror film. The Last Exorcism is one of these ‘found footage’ films. This time a camera crew follows an exorcist on a job and… well, if you’ve ever seen (a) a found footage film or (b) and exorcism film, then you’ll know what to expect.
And you get just that. Some might say that that’s a bad thing as everything is pretty predictable (and they’re probably be right – there’s nothing really that new here to see). However, it’s not as terrible as most found footage films. The characters are believable and they don’t make a hundred and one stupid decisions (maybe one or two, here and there, but that’s still less than your average star of a horror movie), so the acting remains good and the camera not too wobbly.
Of course the story descends into what you’d probably expect as the team get more than they bargain for.
I won’t say that anything here is a classic, so it’s really down to whether you can be bothered sitting through – yet another – found footage film, combined with yet one more exorcism film. If you decide to give it a go, be gentle – like I say… it’s no masterpiece, but watchable enough.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2011
!!!WARNING. MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!
Evangelical minister Cotton Marcus(Patrick Fabian) maybe having a bit of trouble with his faith, but he's not letting his congregation know. He blinds them with sleight of hand tricks, basks in the glory of his fathers reputation and continues to perform financially luctrative exorcisms in order to pay for his young sons' medical treatment.
He has had, however, a crisis of conscience, and decides to expose the exorcisms the church provides for what they are, a confidence trick. Accompanied by a documentary crew, Marcus travels to meet one such desperate family, where teenager Nell Sweetzer(Ashley Bell) is supposedly possessed by a demon. Marcus performs his usual tricks and tells Nell's father that she is now okay. Nell, however, is far from free of the malignant entities that have possessed her, and the Sweetzer farm holds many horrifying secrets for Marcus and his team...
This excellent film isn't just another found footage/mocumentary horror film. It has a lot more going for it.
Central to the films success is the wonderful performance by Patrick Fabian as Marcus, in what could be a very unsympathetic role. It is to Fabians immense credit that Marcus comes across as such a likeable character, despite his many flaws. There are also top-notch performances from Ashley Bell as Nell Sweetzer, and Louis Herthum as her father Louis.
The main criticism I have read about the film is regarding the ending. I have seen it described as 'tacked on' and many have suggested it ruins what was up to that point an excellent film. I personally love the ending. If you rewatch the film, little clues are scattered throughout the running time pointing towards the films terrifying denouement. When I watched the downbeat ending, I was taken back to great moments of 70's horror such as 'Race With The Devil' and more recent examples such as 'House Of The Devil'. The pace of the ending might be slightly out of sync with the rest of the story, but it is the making of 'The Last Exorcism'.
There is redemption of sorts for Cotton Marcus and all of the plot strands come together very nicely.
Up until the ending, the film is measured and relies on atmosphere and a subtle building of tension.
My only gripe was the inclusion of some music during the course of the film. This slightly spoils the mocumentary feel. Apart from that, I cannot find any fault with this film, with its carefully judged performances, great storyline and memorable closing scenes. I would highly recommend it to all fans of good horror films out there, as I worry that all the negative reviews might put some potential customers off.
There are also a wealth of extras on this excellent release. 5 out of 5.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2013
It had twists not expected,
It was well filmed, if you like films of this kind, it's definitely worth a look.
Never failed to keep you on the edge of your seat.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2011
If your idea of a horror film is - six teenagers go off to a haunted house for a raunchy weekend with enough booze and drugs to sink the Arc Royal, flashing tits and bums and shouting "Oh my God" until a drooling piece of moulded rubber appears sporting fangs and spoils it for them, this isnt the film for you.
Alternatively, if your idea of a horror film is some weak, conveyor belt vehicle for a wannabe starlet, complete with gratuitous bad language and stunning if only special effects coupled with the contents of the local abattoir skip scattered liberally everywhere - again, this film isn't for you.
If on the other hand, you like solid characters, a damn good, plausible story line with atmosphere and building tension, coupled with an unpredictable yet climactic ending - this could well be the film for you!