UTG’S 31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN: “The Last Exorcism”

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Of all the holidays celebrated worldwide, no one day is more loved by the UTG staff than Halloween. With the arrival of October, the time has finally come to begin rolling out a plethora of features and special announcements we have prepared in celebration of our favorite day, including the one you’re about to read.

31 Days Of Halloween is a recurring daily feature that will run throughout the month of October. The hope and goal of this column is to supply every UTG reader with a daily horror movie recommendation that is guaranteed to amplify your Halloween festivities. We’ll be watching every film the day it’s featured, and we hope you’ll follow along at home. If you have a suggestion, contact us and we may include your favorite scarefest in an upcoming column!

Day 26: The Last Exorcism (2010)

If you’re anything like me, you likely dismissed Daniel Stamm’s The Last Exorcism in 2010 as “just another unoriginal exorcism flick.” I barely remember what I thought of the trailer I saw prior to its release but I know that I expected no good qualities from the effort. I didn’t watch The Last Exorcism until early 2011 when I came across it on a list of underrated horror films via Stumbleupon. Upon beginning the film, it was immediately evident that it was unlike anything I had imagined.

First approaching as a lighthearted mockumentary, The Last Exorcism follows Reverend Cotton Marcus who has become somewhat accustomed to performing faux exorcisms on “possessed” individuals. The Reverend agrees to take part in a documentary which would expose exorcisms as nothing more than a fraud; his expertise. Marcus chooses an exorcism at random to be the focus of the documentary which came in the form of a letter from a farmer named Louis Sweetzer. Sweetzer claims that his teenage daughter Nell has been slaughtering his livestock as she has been possessed. Needless to say, the Reverend takes the situation for granted as he believes it to be nothing more than nonsense but soon finds that he may have made an interesting choice with Nell and that his faith will certainly be tested.

Borrowing from pioneers such as The Blair Witch Project, The Last Exorcism has a minimal “found footage” feel, in this case one that is warranted and fits appropriately. The handycam approach certainly broadens the ominous atmosphere and adds to the slow-burning intensity that The Last Exorcism exudes through its characters and locational settings, and with a story that neatly unravels more and more shocking layers, that intensity never lets up, building until its fiery culmination. Furthermore, Nell, played by Ashley Bell, is perfect in this role in a very creepy and unsettling way. Her flawless delivery in The Last Exorcism was praised by The New York Post as “Oscar-worthy work.”

I feel that many people didn’t enjoy this film which is primarily due to them not understanding the story, but honestly, it surprised me and ultimately kind of blew my mind by its finale. This is definitely one of those films that I will defend as I do find it to be rather original in the horror scene and has much more to offer than many seem to be suggesting. View the trailer below and see what you think.

Now that you’ve experienced the trailer, you more than likely want to watch The Last Exorcism very badly. Well, I’d suggest purchasing it as you’ll more than likely want to watch it much more and make sure your friends have seen it as well. You can buy The Last Exorcism on DVD and or blu-ray via Amazon or stream it on Netflix.

Editorial written by: Brian LionFollow him on Twitter

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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