Director: Daniel Stamm
Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Starring: Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell
Cut from the same mold as films like "The Blair Witch Project", "Paranormal Activity" and "Quarantine" comes a new horror mockumentary. The "Last Exorcism" tells the tale of Pastor Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian), a troubled minister who has made a portion of livelihood through administering exorcisms. We quickly learn that Marcus doesn't believe in demons and that the act of exorcism is really just a spectacle meant to induce a placebo effect on its subject. It is under this premise that Cotton Marcus agrees to have a film crew document his final exorcism. As Marcus begins his tests on the young Nell Sweetzer, the film crew uncovers the truth about the girl's mysterious past, and whether or not demons exist.
The "Last Exorcism" is 1 hour and 35 minutes of fun, mind-bending horror. It's the last 5 minutes of the film which really destroy it though. Imagine eating a big bowl of spaghetti and stuffing your belly, only to see a half-eaten bug at the bottom of your bowl -- that is what watching "Last Exorcism" is like. From its clever beginning through its horrific climax this movie is excellent and horror fans are going to eat it up. It's only when you reach the denouement that you will wish you hadn't sat through this film. The final twist is awkward and poorly thought out.
Up until the last 5 minutes of the film, I was scared. The tension is very palpable and you can sense the urgency of resolution as the story reaches its climax. But the ending is so pathetically irrational that it discredits the first 95 minutes of the film. If an ending can change my entire perspective of the rest of the film (for the worst) then that's a pretty bad ending!
It is very possible that some people will think that the ending is brilliant and really creative -- to me, it was just too absurd. Catch the "Last Exorcism" at the Tango Theatres this weekend. For the most part, it is very clever and has quick pacing. Too bad the ending is so horrible.
3 out of 5 stars.