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Posted by lycan librarian in Movie Review.


              Previews I saw on television for this movie lead me to believe it was going to be a typical hokey horror film. When I started watching it, the first thing I did was go back to the first scene because I thought I saw the camera man in the mirror. I did. Then I watched more and learned  the movie is presented as a documentary, and an interesting one at that. Reverend Cotton Marcus was a child preacher — one of those Bible-banging prodigies who spent their entire lives reciting the word of God. Yes, reciting. Cotton admits that he isn’t sure he even believes in God since he had been pushed into preaching at such a young age that he never had time to develop his own beliefs. He also doesn’t believe in the devil, but he does make a handsome living performing exorcisms. He figures his clients are possessed by the idea of the devil, and by banishing the thought from their heads, he frees them.  He is filmed as he travels to a rural farming community to help a man who believes his daughter is possessed because she murders his livestock in the middle of the night, but never remembers doing so. Her bloody clothing, however, is proof that she’s the culprit.  Cotton’s methods are revealed, everything from the wires that bang and move objects during the exorcism, to the crucifix smoking in his hand after he banishes the demon; he is clearly a great showman.
     All this is rather intriguing, and this movie could have said so much about the strengths of faith, love, and the human mind. It could have gone any number of ways, and did switch gears to lead one into false beliefs at times. (Oh, no! Just like the devil!) The fact that the actors were not familiar faces really added to the depth of the film and made it more believable as a documentary rather than a horror film. Sweet-faced Ashley Bell did a terrific job as the possessed girl who could switch from a shy, awkward teen  to a heartless animal mutilator in the blink of a bleeding eye. So now I propose the BIG question. Why did the scriptwriters and filmmakers view it necessary to speed off the road of making a movie that really had something to say straight into the path of a huge hokey runaway ending? If I had written a book that read as this movie did, and then turned into the fright it became, my agent would have been on the phone yelling at me that you can’t slap together two stories intended for different audiences. But this is what happened. Horror viewers don’t have much to keep them going in the beginning story, and anyone, like myself, who saw merit and was waiting for the characters’ changes of hearts, and life revelations, will be even more disappointed than the horror fans. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie until Cotton and his crew left the farm, and then turned around and went back. As soon as they returned and walked into the house that had bloody pentagrams on the walls, the proverbial writing was right up there in the middle of them.

     Now with the title and the ads, it would be an important point in this movie to prove the existence of the devil, and that could have been easily done.  But all that was ultimately proven is that people are the ones who create the hell that exists on this planet. And this crappy ending was a little piece of that.



1. moviegeek - January 8, 2011

Good to agree with you…
The last exorcism was one of the most disappointing films I’ve seen in a long time.
For a moment I actually thought it was going to do something interesting… And then it all collapsed miserably!!!!
Here’s my review of it http://wp.me/p19wJ2-aF.
Do check out other ones too!
Take care

lycan librarian - January 9, 2011

I really think Roth let his kid write the ending. Or maybe he and an eight year old had a freaky Firday switch going on during filming. There’s no other explanation for switching gears like that. I’ll keep an eye on your blog — you do a great job on reviews. Thanks for checking mine out.

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