Shall we plumb the dark depths of demonic possession, children? Follow a tale that takes us down the dark road of deception and shows us there may be more than what we see with our eyes?
I'm of course referring to "The Last Exorcism", a little foray into the nether from producer Eli Roth. High pedigree with a low budget, it's received mixed reviews from the mainstream (but what do THEY know, anyway? Heh-heh), but I wanted to throw in MY two-cents on the matter...
I'll start with what I DID like about the film: The premise, while cinema-veritas work is becoming quite old hat in the horror genre, had some fresh twists to it. While I don't want to give anything away, I think you all can gather from the trailers that this film is set up as a documentary to expose the fraud of modern exorcism, which I thought was a nice turn. The actor's performances, across the board, are convincing, and the path that leads to the climax had no trouble holding my attention.
There were some genuinely creepy moments, and the contortional ability of the "possessed" girl in question (done without any special effects; the actress, Ashley Bell, has hypermobility) sent some chills down my old backbone. The story-within-a-story plot was done well, and while it's got a few holes, it held together well enough to be enjoyable and keep my interest. Adding to the whole was the isolated locale of rural Louisiana, with it's eclectic mix of old superstitions and religions, shot surprisingly well considering it was SUPPOSED to look like a student film.
Now the ending, sadly, was a little contrived. While I won't lie and say I saw it coming a mile away, the numbers did click in my head before the "big moment" where we the audience are given our cathartic revelation...it wasn't TERRIBLE, just a bit of a let down from the buildup the rest of the film provided.
Overall, I'll say it was a pretty good film. Not a GREAT one, but not one that I'm sorry I sat through. It's definitely worth seeing, at least once, and I don't feel like fans of the "demonic" genre will be disappointed...so long as their not looking for the next "The Exorcist".