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At The Movies With Peter Clease - The Last Exorcism

Exorcisms are usually ill advised--not without exceptions, of course--; as they require careful, precise attention.


Exorcisms are usually ill advised--not without exceptions, of course--; as they require careful, precise attention. Sure, now and then, there are the lay cases: a demon--who is negligent--a creature feeding on, essentially, itself, is expatriated easily, and the host is seen through fine; but this is idyllic musings--nearly true fantasy--as well, it's almost never the reality.

No, as we know, the host is often lost, and it snarls, and it crawls like a spider, and it screams and swears and erotizes--a very ominous force--; then, while it steps, craftily, through the night, it always comes across a cat in the barnyard, and calls to it, "Here, kitty, kitty," right before it smashes the feline across the head with a large recording device about, say, half a dozen times--or more. 'Now, stop tracking those dirty paws through my room, cat!'

On this camp level, of the horror kind--which retains tension--excellent things can be accomplished; and this is reasonably prominent in "The Last Exorcism." Ostensibly, it translates into horror; however, it also walks a thin line into comedy, and finds a neat balance, while also experimenting with documented narrative; and in this way, it's far more effective than the overrated "Blair Witch"--a film that fails in every facet, aside from its nauseating gaze.

This film, on the other hand, never causes sickness, nor does it lose hold of the interest it generates; though, its ending is too literal, when it ought to be more ambiguous--but this is a small quibble.

Additionally, "The Last Exorcism" riffs with satire, especially the religious sort, as it blurs through strangeness.

A reverend, Cotton Marcus, played by Patrick Fabian, is a exorcist and admits his practice is a fake;--and, also, that through the years, he has doubted that there even exists a deity, but has kept practicing the faith for a living.

He then, in his church, gives one of the most ridiculous, over-the-top sermons I have ever seen, screaming and spewing biblical names, which mostly circulate to "Jesus!"

Out of this speech, he goes as far as to pitch soup, and practically anoints it! But this section of the film is simply the intro, and leads to added tension; although, it still draws from humour.

Cotton, on his last job as an exorcist, meets a young lady, named Nell (Ashley Bell), who along with her father and brother, is very strange folk. He performs an exorcism, but, despite the play, Nell begins to exhibit odd behaviour. I predict a demon.

4 out of 5 popcorns.