|banana bread and jesus!|
Once again we are subjected to another pseudo - documentary. Like The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield and The Last Broadcast, The Last Exorcism is presented as documentary film about a preacher who has recently admitted his holy rolling ways are nothing more than show biz antics - he hires a small film crew to follow him about to show just how much of a fake he really is. Surprisingly, the first forty five minutes of this film put me in mind of an actual documentary from the early 70's called Marjoe (a film about a fire and brimstone preacher who decided to come clean about the way that old time religion is nothing more than a money making ploy and one that preys on the simple minded or uneducated).
Cotton Marcus (played with charismatic flair by Patrick Fabian) may be a huckster, but deep down, he seems like a decent fellow (even as he points out that once he starts preaching, he could give people the recipe for banana bread and they would not even notice). He has a loving wife and a son with a hearing problems and a speech impediment (interestingly, his wife and son seem to be in on the whole scam as well). For the purpose of the documentary, he decides to take on the case of a young woman whose father claims that she is possessed by a demon.
Soon Marcus and company are on their way to a backwater in rural Louisiana ...now, pay attention during this part of the film; a couple of hints as to what is really happening are given during the interviews with some of the locals.
|the power of cash compels me!|
Reverend Marcus holds an exorcism that he has rigged with all kinds of cheap special effects, and then proclaims Nell cured of her affliction...soon he packs his loaded crucifix away along with the cash he has was payed and is on his way...and that's when things start getting interesting.
After a somnambulistic Nell shows up at the Reverend's motel, he realizes that he might be in over his head - furthermore, he and one of the film crew, are starting to deduce that something might be wrong with Nell's father as well. One of the things I really appreciated was that no matter what kind of creepy things occurred to, or around, Nell, most of them could be explained away. She never levitates, nor does she climb the walls (no matter what certain movie posters may infer)...that said, it's hard to watch her bending over backwards and speaking in a mature woman's voice and think that something wicked this way had not come.
|i'm a little tea pot|
Now about that ending. Nope, I am not going to give it away - but I know a lot of people hated it. Frankly, as hokey as it seemed, I sort of enjoyed it. To me it was a terrifically tacky curve ball thrown at the viewer, and you could either choose to catch that ball and run with it, or toss it back and stomp your feet and go home. I say, Play Ball!