Monday, January 31, 2011

Under 250: The Last Exorcism

When The Last Exorcism managed to snag a couple Independent Spirit award nominations, I thought it might be worth a look.  This was, of course, against some nagging better judgment that insisted it would amount to nothing more than another handicam faux-documentary, Blair Witch style take on the supernatural.  That nagging better judgment was correct.  The Last Exorcism has little new to offer in the demonic possession genre.  Its only novelty may be its cynical approach.  Patrick Fabian stars as a reverend cashing in on the beliefs of others, performing exorcisms he knows to be frauds (with pimped out supplies to aid him with the special effects) on those so strong of spirit they'll buy into anything.  Then, you know, he encounters a strange backwoods family with a daughter who may or may not be suffering the real deal.  Last Exorcism gives psychosis vs. possession a fair shot, and has another of those fun, abrupt, horror film endings.  The reality is, however, that it's really just another result of the Paranormal Activity boom. Cheap movie, cheap thrills, nothing new to offer.  Devil films are the most fun when they get the atmosphere right, when the filmmaker gives the movie some style.  This is a bare-bones, weak attempt at 'reality' chills.  It steals a little bit from "Young Goodman Brown" and a lot from every other cinematic go at the genre.  Ultimately?  It's not good, not bad, not scary, just meh.  

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