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Review: The Last Exorcism

Be afraid . . . to pay full price for this mess
By PEG ALOI  |  August 25, 2010
2.0 2.0 Stars


We can thank The Blair Witch Project for a stream of fake documentaries aspiring to be edgy horror films.

Daniel Stamm helms this ambitious but messy tale of charlatan preacher and professional exorcist Cotton Marcus (Big Love's Patrick Fabian). Following the accidental death of a child during a botched exorcism, Marcus wants to expose the fraudulence of his industry — so, camera crew in tow, he visits a Louisiana farmer whose teenage daughter is possessed by a demon.

For the first hour, the subversive premise and the authentic performances are taut and engaging. I even liked the absurd ending that steals from (pays homage to?) obscure horror texts that include Harvest Home, Cannibal Holocaust and The Wicker Man. But the purity of the docu conceit falls apart thanks to the intrusion of a spooky score and deliberately eerie camera shots. You may not be scared, but you should Be Afraid.

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