Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Last Exorcism

I am an avid fan of horror films. So, you'll have to forgive me my praise of such light and trashy fluff. My love of horror films varies. I tend to love the serial killer/psycho horror or the ghost story, haunting horror films. I am a fan of too much gore or the simple things like groans and bumps. I'm not a fan of the in-between.

My favorite type of horror film is the faux-documentary. This love started with The Blair Witch Project. On first viewing, the film can seem a tad bit disappointing. The need for something more after so much build up. But, after a handful of viewings, the fear of the film really begins to flood over you. Other such films in this vein are REC (or, the American version, Quarantine) and Paranormal Activity.

The Last Exorcism isn't as scary as the preview may lead one to believe. This is a film about the fear of self. The fear of what we believe. What others believe. And, what we can do to control others with the things they believe. This film may be more about faith than about any other subject. The film is never once preachy. Never once poking fun at one side or the other. Everyone is treated equally.

The mystery at the heart of the film- is the young lady possessed or acting out from childhood trauma? There is a long, sordid road ahead of the viewer. Many things are revealed. Some are explained. Some are hinted at. Others, left to keep you unsettled.

By the films end, the real twist is handed over to the audience. There is a moment of 'I knew it.' But, you don't. You can't really quite know it. And, in the revealing of what isn't quite known... a lot of shaky camera work, screams, blurred images, and the viewer is left to imagine the actually going ons. Not only are we expected to understand what is happening, but why it is happening.

Many reviews claim the end is too much. Too unrealistic. Too far fetched. But, this is film. This is imagination. Maybe the filmmakers have taken a reality and stretched it. I was worried, scared, confused for the last fifteen minutes of the film. I enjoyed the entire trip.


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