Dem Reviews: The Last Exorcism

(Today’s guest review comes from local blogger and paranormal expert, Michael Banti. Be sure to check out his blog Weird Fresno for all the latest on scary stuff around the area.)


Sorry about that. That was me banging my head against the keyboard trying to find something good to say about The Last Exorcism.

I’m a fan of horror movies, so when the guys over at the Dumb Drum asked me to check out a screening of the movie, I was more than happy to. I’ve always been interested in the subject of exorcisms, and with Eli Roth‘s name attached to this movie, I had high hopes. Boy, was I wrong.

The movie actually starts out decently enough. It’s shot as a fake documentary about a minister, Reverend Cotton Marcus, who performs exorcisms, and has done so for quite a while. There’s a problem though: he doesn’t believe he is actually casting out any demons or that the people are even possessed. He thinks they are either looking for attention or have some sort of psychological problems, but he does the exorcisms still, as he feels he is still helping them in some way. But he soon grows tired of the frauds and decides to have one filmed to show what really happens.

Marcus receives a letter from a family whose daughter is thought to be possessed. He and his film crew of two head to the family’s rural farm and, after interviewing the family, he proceeds to perform the exorcism. Marcus shows the camera how he is able to fake the ritual using rings wired to electrodes to apply a mild shock, among other things. After the ritual is performed, he and his crew head back to their hotel thinking they have gotten their footage to prove it was fake. But the daughter somehow shows up in a comatose state (even though they never told the family the hotel they were staying in). They take her to the hospital where the father finds them and is furious. Marcus wants to get her psychological help, but the father thinks she’s still possessed.

Unfortunately the movie quickly declines from here. Very few scary moments, and all the good ones were already seen in the trailer. Most of the movie is just Marcus and his crew wanting to get help for the daughter, but not actually doing anything about it. To be honest, I’m not even really sure how this is a horror movie, or why Eli Roth even produced this movie, as it barely registered a scream from the audience. Actually, when the movie ended, there were several boos coming from the audience, and I heard several people confused about the last five minutes.

Speaking of the last five minutes, it was pretty much a rip-off of The Blair Witch Project (shaky camera footage and everything). This movie had promise; not sure what happened. I imagine the PG-13 rating didn’t help much (name one decent PG-13 horror movie). Sadly, I think this is just another movie trying to cash in on the success that Paranormal Activity achieved a year ago. This movie should have been a direct-to-DVD release, or better yet, never made. If you want to see a shitty (yet highly more enjoyable) horror movie, go see Piranha 3D. Or go see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World for a really good movie.

The Last Exorcism opens this Friday, August 27, in theaters across the Valley.

(If you’re interested in being a future guest writer on Dem Reviews, drop us an email at and we’ll chat.)


  1. I can't take any movie seriously whose big scare moment is a human with distorted limbs. That spider-walk thing was scary at first, but now every movie seems to have one.

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