January 14, 2011
I wish I could see more grown-up movies when they first come out in theaters, but good sitters don't come cheap, greatly inflating the cost of going to the theater for anything other than Toy Story 3 or How to Train Your Dragon. For this reason, despite my strong desire to see The Last Exorcism when it first hit theaters, I just saw the movie a few days ago.
If you are anything like me, then you have probably seen a fair amount of exorcisms as portrayed in the media. Those exorcisms are almost always performed by a Catholic priest and go through certain motions that seem like requirements in order to portray an exorcism properly. The Last Exorcism breaks a lot of the rules, providing a fresh take on the exorcism movie. Patrick Fabian's character, Cotton Marcus, is an Evangelical minister who essentially has lost his faith, and yet has kept preaching. He recruits a film crew to document him doing an exorcism simply to prove that exorcisms are a hoax, since he believes exorcisms have harmed many innocent people, including children. The movie starts out with a pretty light mood considering the subject material, sometimes becoming comical.
Like the movie Full Metal Jacket, The Last Exorcism almost pulls the rug out from under you as it makes a hard and emotional transition from comedic and lighthearted to dark and sinister. You can see coming from a mile away that the girl Cotton Marcus goes to exorcise really is possessed by a demon. I don't want to give away what happens after that, but I will say one thing about the ending without going into detail. Like Frankenstein's monster, the ending of the movie seemed like a body part or piece of another movie sewed in, morphing the movie into almost something else entirely without warning or foreshadowing of any real sort. The ending would have worked better for me if the jump had not been so abrupt, which is a real shame since the movie starts off so promising. I would definitely recommend renting The Last Exorcism, but this movie will not make it into my home collection of DVDs.
Have you seen The Last Exorcism? Post your thoughts below!