Time and again I ask myself the pivotal question: is there a movie out there, somewhere, anywhere, that can wrap itself around my soul and senses so tightly, that can bring me to tears out of sheer awe and the triumph of the imagination, that can give me such faith in the genre that it occupies that my faith in Hollywood can be renewed, that can lead me to whip out my wank and snap one off right there in my seat? Well, and I'm sure the three attendants that escorted me out of Destinta last night can attest to this, yes, there is.
I might have exaggerated. Nothing was wrapped around my soul, my eyes were as dry as my girlfriends mouth, and nothing short of Jimmy Cameron being found erotically asphyxiated in Nicholsons closet could ever bring me close to giving a shit about Hollywood. And there were only, like, 2 attendants, and they were both totally 16 [champagne cork] [gong].
Sure, I like Eli Roth. Cabin Fever is easily one of the most underrated horror movies of all time. Granted, the reason he didn't direct is because he is contractually obligated to blow Tarantino 18 hours a day (that's how long a Koala sleeps!), but he knows how to make a good movie, there's no doubt about that (he played 2 (?) different characters in Cabin Fever and it's hard for me to get past something like that).
Anyway, Last Exorcism. I saw this movie with maybe ten grade school syphallitics sitting five rows in front of me, and three equally depressing but slightly older characters sitting in the far back, and I firmly believe that this is the way the movie should be seen: eighty decibel whispers followed by screams followed by beautiful silence. This movie will shut you up [laugh track] [gunshot].
She may be Michael Cera, but seeing an overly religious homeschooled girl get possesed and try to round third with Supporting Woman 1 fulfills several of my fantasies. The movie's scary, too. The sound is respectable, and the thing with the chain around the girls leg is well placed and sets the tone very well. The main dude is pretty unbelievable- a magician preacher who is definatly not going Missionary any time soon [cough] [trumpet].
The plot: serious preacher who's basically a TV evangelist wants to shed light on the atrocities of modern-day exorcisms, a practice that all too freuently ends with the family killing the possesed for their own good. He goes to a backwater town to perform one last exorcism [fart] to show the world that it's all a sham. He meets this girl who is allegedly possesed and sets up a fake exorcism to appease the family and show that all she needed was to be convinced she was no longer possesed. There's this great scene, the first 'exorcism' he does on the girl, where he sets up speakers to imitate demon groans and invisible wire to move pictures and a cross that smoke comes out of and all that good stuff that makes it look super convincing. He 'exorcises' the girl and leaves on a chipper note with the family as the messenger of God triumphant, curtain Act 1. Act 2: fake exorcism doesn't work and the preacher needs to go back and do it for real this time, because if he doesn't, the father will kill her to save her soul. FULL CIRCLE.
I liked a lot of things. I like the distinct difference in the way he approaches the first exorcism versus the way he goes about the second. The first time, he's basically a professional con man who smooth talks his way through this family and gives a great show, perfectly convincing in ever way. The second time, he goes about it not as the TV evangelist but as the scared shitless man o' cloth. He wants the father to get the girl psychiatric help, and the father says if he won't do another exorcism then he'll kill her. Kodak this for me- man in linen suit shaking hands with smiling father on bright sunny day, man in tattered clothes sawing the chain off a possesed girl in an attempt to save her and then confronted by man with shotgun.
The cast is great. The guy is amazing and the girl is very, very versitile. She can go from sweet and totally cherry jailbait to viscious and sadistic but still totally cherry [unsheathed sword] in the blink of an eye.
The movie does mix genres a little. Think about it on a scale of reality- blair witch, paranormal activity, quarantine, last exorcism. Blair Witch was real and gritty because it didn't look produced, something that happened with the latter films because it became evident to Hollywood that these movies make money (Blair Witch is the highest grossing budget vs. income independant film ever made, it grossed something like $11,000 for every dollar spent making the movie). Last Exorcism looks well produced, and they use music, which takes away from the genre but ends up adding greatly to the movie. It's scary, believe me, I could be a millionaire if I sold all the sperm I lost watching it.
*At one point she alleges to being impregnated by a town boy, and the crew goes to find him and he turns out to be the town queer, which is absolutely hilarious. 'Um, no, I didn't touch that, omg lolzzz!!oneone1.' And after they leave, the sound girl goes 'well, he's obviously gay' [T-rex roar] [glass breaking] [tire screech].
The main critisism is how short the third act is. It can't be helped, obviously. If you have a gun in the first act it needs to go off by the third. The main chunk of the movie is build up to the end, but it's alright because the build up is awesome. There's no way to give the movie a pretty ending; that would contradict the tone and the message. The message being, SHOOT HAH! SHOOOT HAH!
The movie is worth seeing and worth owning. In my opinion it's more entertaining than any other film of its genre. It may not match the direction and overall maturity of The Exorcist and it may not be as earthy and gritty as Blair Witch, but it is an era-defining horror film in its own regard. I'd see it again today if I could, but I don't think they're going to let me in to that theatre any time soon [pull book to open hidden passageway].
I give The Last Exorcism three and a half out of four squirts.