Director: Daniel Stamm
Screenplay: Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland
Starring: Patrick Fabian, Iris Bahr, Louis Herthum, Ashley Bell
Running Time: 99 minutes
Genre: Horror, supernatural, mockumentary
Summary: In present day Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Reverend Cotton Marcus (Fabian) is an evangelical preacher who is beginning to lose his faith. He has also performed a number of exorcisms, despite not believing in demonic possession or in any benefits of exorcism itself. Deciding to quit, Marcus invites a documentary film crew, consisting of producer/director Iris Reisen (Bahr) and cameraman Daniel Moskowitz (Adam Grimes), to record his last exorcism in order to expose exorcism as a fraud. He responds to a letter from a devout farmer, Louis Sweetzer (Herthum) who believes that his sixteen year old daughter Nell (Bell) is possessed. Travelling to the remote Sweetzer farm, Marcus performs his usual fake ritual, complete with special effects. However, it soon becomes apparent that this is not the end of the matter as Nell's condition worsens and Marcus comes to believe that they may be dealing with real dark forces.
Opinions: This movie is shot in a kind of "mockumentary" style similar to films such as The Blair Witch Project (1999), Cloverfield (2007) and Paranormal Activity (2009), with a shaky hand-held camera. This method tens to be pretty contorverisal with some poeple likeing the technique and some people finding it alomost unwatchable. Personally I think if it is done well it can really add to the veracity of the movie. The problem is that it is a technique that has been overused so much in recent years. It works quite well here but the ever-present music score really detracts from the impact of the documentary technique. The film has a slow build-up which makes the horror all the more effective when it does arrive. The largely unknown cast do well in their roles, but the real standout is Ashley Bell as the tormented teen, going from sweet farm girl to contorting, dead-eyed killer (incidentally Ashley Bell is double-jointed and did all the contortion scenes herself without any special effects). The main problem with the movie is that it lacks originality and provides very little that horror fans won't have seen before. The worst part of the movie was the end, and the final twist just really did not work. There is enough good stuff here to make it worth watching but there's not much worth going out of your way for.
Ashley Bell in The Last Exorcism