The Last Exorcism
is a 2010 American mockumentary horror film directed and edited by Daniel Stamm. It stars Patrick Fabian, Iris Bahr and Louis Herthum.
The film is told from the perspective of a disillusioned evangelical minister, who after years of performing exorcisms decides to participate in a documentary chronicling his last exorcism while exposing the fraud of his ministry. After receiving a letter from a farmer asking for help in driving out the devil, he meets the farmer's afflicted daughter.The Last Exorcism
has received generally positive reviews from critics, but polarizing reviews
among general audiences.
A sequel titled The Last Exorcism Part II
was released in 2013 focusing on Nell, who survived the events of the last film but with little memory of what occurred, as the evil force that once possessed her comes back with a more sinister intention.
Provides examples of:
- Based on a Great Big Lie: Cotton tries to prove that exorcisms and demon possessions are this.
- Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Nell.
- Camera Abuse: Prime example: The possessed girl uses the camera to beat a cat to death while she's recording it.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Louis, who had been portrayed as a crazy and superstitious person throughout the movie, turns out to be right about the whole thing being supernatural.
- Deep South: Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- Demonic Possession.
- Evil All Along: Pastor Manley and Caleb.
- Faux Horror Film: Seemingly played straight, then subverted at the end.
- Foreshadowing: Nell's drawings.
- And the interview of locals telling of a Satanic cult.
- Gory Discretion Shot: In the sequel, when Chris slits his throat.
- Heel-Faith Turn: Throughout the entire movie Cotton is trying to debunk exorcism, but in the end, when he sees the demon, he regains his faith and confronts it. Could also serve as a last-minute Badass Preacher, as he confronts a demon with only a crucifix.
- Hollywood Atheist: The Rev. Cotton Marcus
- Hollywood Satanism
- Humanoid Abomination: But it's not who you think...
- Jitter Cam: Not so bad as most.
- Kill It with Fire: How Nell gets rid of the girls at the boarding house.
- The Last Title: The title.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: As it turns out in the end.
- Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane
- Off with His Head!: The fate of the cameraman.
- Precision F-Strike: In the sequel, Nell tells a tourist to fuck off after he keeps pestering her for a picture.
- Real After All: This is the polarizing factor for audiences.
- Red Herring: The ramblings of a local early in the film, combined with the mutilated cows shortly thereafter, subtly suggest that aliens might be at work. Whether or not that would've been scarier is open for debate, of course.
- Religious Horror
- Religion of Evil: Revealed in the last few moments of the movie to be the culprit.
- Spotting the Thread: How Cotton realizes Nell isn't genuinely possessed. A real demon would never use the phrase "blowing job" as a term for oral sex; a naive, home-schooled 16-year old, however, would.
- Supernatural Proof Father: Subverted with Louis, who believes his daughter to be genuinely possessed. He's right.
- Uncertain Doom: We never see what exactly happens to Cotton after he confronts the demon.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The only other returning character to the sequel is Louis. There is no mention of Caleb or the Satanic cult whatsoever.