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From minute one, it is rather obvious what will happen in this film. That does not mean that it would not be entertaining – it is most of the time, even though Reverend Cotton Marcus is not the person you want to identify with: an obnoxious, self-important actor on the stage of Christian tv preacherism, probably the least likeable category of persons in the world apart from ancient Lovecraftian demons. He is lucky that one of those demons is around as well, so he comes off as the good guy.

We have a situation that can by now be called “classic” – a camera team is filming documentary footage, and we are watching the footage. Interestingly (to use a kind word), despite the fact that the filmmakers are not in a position to edit the final film before we see it, we see edited out-of-sequence passages, revealing a bit of the sloppiness with which the film was produced.

In terms of plot development, it is actually pretty well controlled: we are witnessing a process where the priest discovers a number of problems with his latest exorcism, and while each of these problems lead him to a next one (sickness – schizophrenia – incest – rape – murder …), he seems to believe that he is still on top of things and can help resolve the issue by sticking around. And whatever wild behavior we observe in Nell, the supposedly possessed teenager, it all is within the realm of being explainable through rational argument, and some girl’s serious muscular bendability…

The big disappointment comes at the end: you cannot end a film less creatively than this one, script doctors apparently ran completely out of steam or had to hurry to a Thanksgiving (or Halloween?) dinner, and dropped their pens. Sloppy again.

I will have forgotten about The Last Exorcism in a month, but as it was raining heavily yesterday, it was just the right companion while it lasted.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/last_exorcism/

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