The Last Exorcism
Distinctly underwhelming faux-documentary
From 1999’s The Blair Witch Project to last year’s phenomenon Paranormal Activity, the faux-documentary has become a frequent staple of the horror genre in the last decade. Produced by Hostel’s Eli Roth, Daniel Stamm’s effort is the latest to utilise the format, if only as a sly way of distancing itself from The Exorcist, the daddy of all exorcism movies. In this case, the mock-doc centres on Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian), a dubious Louisiana-based preacher who is not above faking exorcisms for his gullible flock.
Determined to prove that demonic possession is a load of bull, Marcus takes a film crew with him to a local backwater, to follow up a cry for help from a farmer (Louis Herthum) who believes his daughter Nell (Ashley Bell) is under the influence. Offering a neat spin on most exorcism movies, as it questions the validity of such beliefs, Stamm’s film is bolstered by two gripping turns from Fabian and Bell. But, whether it’s the nausea-inducing camerawork, the lack of genuine scares or the all-too-abrupt ending, the end result will leave you distinctly underwhelmed.
General release, Fri 3 Sep.