Friday, September 10, 2010

617 - The Last Exorcism review(s)

“The Last Exorcism” is a clever mockumentary/horror that makes a critical misstep in its final stages. Nothing unusual about that, but what’s depressing here is that the filmmakers more or less have a whole movie on their hands, until they seemingly decide that what they came up with wasn’t scary enough, and then got to work on something more devilish. The ending twist essentially sets up a third act that never arrives, which, to my surprise, is a shame; what comes before frights and intrigues with unexpected effectiveness.

The protagonist, a reverend looking to discredit the practice of exorcism, is played impeccably by Patrick Fabian, an actor recognizable from TV who proves himself readily capable of carrying an entire film. Fabian’s reverend, a sham exorcist armed with megawatt charm, oscillates between noble (he wants to stop the harm of children through exorcism) and shameful (when the exorcism comes, he pulls out his bag of special effects and audaciously accepts a wad of hundreds). The film’s dichotomies, one between the reverend’s intentions and methods, the other over the plausibility of exorcism, imbues the film with a sense of moral crisis that far outlasts the effective creepiness of the demonic happenings themselves. But the final moments, while filmed rather well, are a bit of a cheat, reducing the picture's finer points to an exclamation point.

3.5 out of 5

Another review I wrote of the film can be found here.

1 comment:

tony said...

wow, much better than I thought it might be. I might actually have to check this one out.