Daniel Stamm’s, The Last Exorcism is a new take on the previous Exorcism thrillers that have had audiences out of their minds since the very first movie debuted back in 1973. The faux-documentary style applied to this film turned out to be a pretty successful way to execute its production, considering that the technique could have gone terribly wrong and come across as a cheap, tacky cinematic trick.
The movie follows evangelistic pastor, Reverend Cotton Marcus, played by TV actor Patrick Fabian. The handsome and charming reverend originally began his career in order to spread the seed of Christianity nationwide, but behind his true believer facade, Cotton’s faith is actually deeply disillusioned and he has assembled a film crew to document his last hurrah as a man of God. Cotton plans on performing a final exorcism to expose the fraud behind the practice, so when he gets a letter from a distressed, alcoholic gentleman, Louis Sweetzer, asking him to release the demon spirit from his seemingly schizophrenic teenaged daughter, Nell (Ashley Bell), Cotton pays a visit to the rural back woods of Louisiana. He wholeheartedly believes that Nell’s condition has nothing to do with evil spirits but with film crew in tow, the reverend ends up unknowingly walking into a situation that potentially has Satan himself written all over it.
The acting of the major characters in this film is absolutely phenomenal. First of all, the chilling body contortions that Bell performed when her character was possessed were more horrific than any special effects or stage make up could ever be. She was very convincing in every aspect of the film, weather she was playing Nell as an innocent adolescent or a demon possessed maniac.
Then there was Fabian, who was clearly the perfect choice for the potentially star-making role of Reverend Cotton Marcus. He executed all of the conflict this character was feeling inside without making it seem like acting. The audience experiences his blatant lack of faith as he proves that he himself, not God, is the one leading his church, when he preaches a sermon about banana bread. He then goes into the exorcism with all of his tricks of the trade, leading the Sweetzer family to believe that evil spirits, not his booby traps, are causing the commotion as poor Nell gets exercised. Not to mention the fact that he’s charging these people for, essentially, a magic show, when they really believe that he can save them from the gates of Hell. But then, the audience also gets to see the heroic side of Cotton. Although he is a fraud and sometimes a bit arrogant, he feels a responsibility towards Nell and her safety. He sticks around even after he’s been paid and situations get strange, when many others would run for the hills. Cotton’s emotional contradictions evolve as the film plays out and he had no choice but to do all that he can to become Nell’s Hero.
The last Exorcism is a smart, complex horror film that will leave audiences guessing. To get your tickets to see the Last Exorcism, visit Streaming Flix today!