I’m not sure why I’ve been on a ‘reality/found footage’ kick lately… maybe because I’m toying with the idea of doing something low-budget in that realm… but I actually did not know that The Last Exorcism was a docu-style feature. I had just watched an actual documentary, so I guess I was in the mood.
While I think the idea of trying to sell these as real ‘found footage’ films seems a bit odd, I did recognize some of the actors in the film. Particularly Caleb, played by Caleb Landry Jones. He was in Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights and played Banshee in X-Men: First Class. They also used Becky Fly, who isn’t that recognizable but bears a very striking resemblance to Zelda Rubinstein from Poltergeist – both in appearance and voice. I’m assuming this was done on purpose.
I think this was unique in that the preacher/exorcist in this film was someone who was a scam artist. He knew he was full of shit from the start. But, as is wont to happen in these films, he runs into an actual demon. However, they don’t believe any of it until it is probably a bit too late.
While there are no scares on the level of a Paranormal Activity 3, there are more layers to this film than most. Like most of these types of movies, it is a slow build until the last ten minutes of mayhem… but there are events throughout that keep your attention. And the ending is odd enough (in a good way) that I almost want to go back and watch to see if there are more clues throughout. Smaller players come back in a big way and one of the kids is involved in a manner you wouldn’t expect.
This isn’t a mind-blowing film, but it isn’t a bad way to spend your time either. With a glut of these films coming down the pike – this is on the higher end of the spectrum for sure.