Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Review in Pictures: The Last Exorcism

Will this movie be worth the hype?  Thanks to Eli Roth, this little movie got a lot of publicity and a theatrical release.  What it is about?  Essentially, it's a mix of The Exorcist and the real life story of Marjoe Gortner.  Yeah, I went there!  Seriously, does Marjoe know that you co-opted his life story for your faux documentary?!?  I know that he pretty much just organizes Celebrity Golf Tournaments (seriously- look it up!) these days, but someone should tell him!  Aside from that, the film is a faux documentary, which means that all of the conceits of this sub-genre are there.  If you like them, good.  If you don't, this movie will bother you a lot.  As for me, I'm just a film critic with a cheap website and my own, silly opinion.  To avoid the furor of the Internet in regard to SPOILERS, I'll do this as a Review in Pictures.  Happy now?  Let's get out our shaking beds as we attempt to take part in...
* We learn that our hero is a child prodigy, quickly rose to prominence in his Church and became the Pastor.
* For no clear reason, he grows tired of faking Exorcisms and agrees to let some random people film him and shows them how he's faking them.  Who are these people?  We never know, so I guess it's not important.
* The trio show up in a town and come across a girl who appears to be possessed.  Well, he convinces the dad that she is, thanks to a bunch of tricks and tools.
* All seems well, until the girl ends up at their hotel for no clear reason.  Something is definitely up, folks!  Thanks to the sub-genre conceit, we get to see the cameraman run to the Pastor's room.  Yea.
* In another conceit, a dramatic scene happens off-camera, since the film crew wasn't around.  That's just lazy!  By the way, this scene makes no context to the rest of the plot when you find out the whole thing.
* Evil lives in this house...but good luck explaining the context of it.  Oh yeah, the constant addressing of the camera never gets old.
* Hey look- trailer moment!  Who would have guessed that the crazy girl would attack you when you approached?  I guess she wanted pancakes.
* In a confusing scene, the 'not possessed' girl acts possessed, but the guy realizes that she's not.  Of course, she actually is.  Wait- what?!?  Way to steal the 'insulting the man's mother' scene from The Exorcist, you hack!
* The finale is a confusing mess, setting up a scene that is far cooler than anything the movie established.  Did a good writer do the Ending for you?  No SPOILERS here, folks...other than this.  The End.
You're both fake and real!  The plot of this movie is a bit of a mess, due mostly to the awkward framing of it. Could this movie have been made as a straight horror film?  Yes.  I guess it wouldn't be 'indy' and 'different' enough if you did that.  Dude, you're ripping off a man's life story and combining it with a rip-off of a famous horror film.  It's not like the film is without merit or anything.  There are some good jump scares for those that like them (not me) and many people will probably like the Cinema Verite quality that they go for.  That said, I have a couple of questions.  The film crew is two people- the Cameraman and the Director/Producer.  Assuming that she holds the Boom/Directional Mic, who is holding up the equipment that blocks the sun's glare?  Is the woman somehow holding up both or are we supposed to be doing that?  I know that this is a picky point to make a film severely lacking in logical flow (where does the Third Act twist come from again?), but bear with me.  My point is that in a normal horror film, I wouldn't ask the question.  Because you had to make it this bullshit 'fake documentary,' these distracting questions come up.  Just don't do it.  Take us away, spine-less girl...
Up next, I cover the blatant rip-off released Direct-to-DVD.  Oh look- David Heavener is involved...yea.  Stay tuned...

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