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Last Exorcism, The


Stars: Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Louis Herthum, Caleb Landry Jones, Iris Bahr, Tony Bentley, Shanna Forrestall

Director: Daniel Stamm

A scary horror film from the [REC] school of film-making. Happy-clappy preacher Cotton Marcus (Fabian) has been performing exorcisms for years, driving out demons and calming troubled minds. Now he has decided to get out of exorcisms, and it has all been - as he explains to the camera crew filming the last one - a fake.

He shows them the paraphernalia with which he makes it work: smoking crosses, electric impulses et al. 'I don't really believe in demons,' he tells them. Together, they head for an isolated farmhouse in Louisiana and, naturally, or we wouldn't have a film, the preacher will be getting more than he bargained for.

The 'victim' is a 16-year-old girl (Bell) who has apparently, under demonic influence, been slaughtering cattle and pets. A cross burns her. Marcus performs his fake exorcism and leaves; but it is, of course, only the beginning of his ordeal.

Although the film slips towards conventional horror at the very end, hand-held camerawork keeps the nerves jangling, not knowing what might jump out of the dark shadows at any moment. Fabian aside, performances aren't exceptional - for some reason almost all the actors share Christian names with their characters - but it's the subject matter that's the thing and, between the 20 and 80 minute marks, this is pretty creepy stuff.

David Quinlan

USA 2010. UK Distributor: Optimum. Colour.
87 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 30 Aug 2010