Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0
Previews for “The Last Exorcism” linked it to Eli Roth’s career to try and draw on his name value but it is not the gore-fest that connections to “Hostel” might have you believe. “The Last Exorcism” is much more subdued, intellectual, and clever than you might think. In fact, it’s very low on actually horror set-pieces, playing like something closer to the work of Lars Von Trier (who Stamm
D: Daniel Stamm
C: Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Iris Bahr, Louis Herthum, Caleb Landry Jones, Tony Bentley, John Wright Jr., Shanna Forrestall, Justin Shafer, Carol Sutton
Priest who has been doubting the relevancy of exorcism heads out to a small town farm to help a supposedly possessed teenage girl rid herself of the demons that plague her, but the priest becomes too involved with the family and in over his head.
In "The Last Exorcism" the characters involved in the film are being filmed by a documentary film crew. The film is aiming to be a realistic portrait of a series of events. Too often does the film feel hokey or unconvincing. For the most part these is no intimacy in relation to the connection between viewer and character. Again for the most part there is no immediacy to the series of events in the film as they are unfolding.
Country Strong – Garrett Hedlund, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leighton Meester
Season of the Witch – Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Claire Foy
Movie of the Week
The Stars: Garrett Hedlund, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leighton Meester
The Plot: A rising young singer-songwriter (Hedlund) unites with a fallen country singer (Paltrow), and together they mount his ascent and her comeback.
The Buzz: When I first saw this trailer, I sighed and thought, “here come the Crazy Heart clones.” But after learning a bit more about this film, my interest in it has grown. For many, Gwyneth Paltrow will be the main attraction, but for me, Garrett Hedlund is the film’s main draw — I’ve been a big fan of his ever since Tron:Legacy hit (way back two weeks ago). Hedlund is cast appropriately here as a rising star, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can pull off the whole singing bit.
Though he’s been delivering memorable work in film and television since 1992, Daniel Stamm’s documentary-style horror flick “The Last Exorcism” marks Fabian’s first major film role. As Cotton Marcus, a redemption-seeking minister taping his own faux-exorcisms, Fabian goes toe-to-toe with Ashley Bell, who’s eerily convincing as the seemingly possessed farm girl, Nell Sweetzer. In light of the film’s Jan. 4 release on Blu-Ray and DVD, Fabian spoke with Hollywood Chicago about the spooky side of religion, experimenting on camera and his opinion about the film’s much-debated ending.
Director: Daniel Stamm
The Scoop: The devil scores another starring role in this “Blair Witch”-tinged thriller. Priest Cotton Marcus (Fabian) hires a documentary film crew to follow him as he performs his final “exorcism” and comes clean about his deceitful ways. But when Marcus arrives on the blood-ravaged family farm where he’ll be working with Nell, he realizes he’s facing much more than just another religious fanatic.
Special Features: Commentary, featurettes, trailer
Rated PG-13, 90 min. | Watch the trailer
The Eli Roth (Hostel) produced The Last Exorcism did very well at the box office considering its meager $2 million price tag. Yet, movie critics have been ambivalent, with comments like "a nice surprise" (San Francisco Chronicle), "[the film] is thoroughly engrossing until it loses its way about three-quarters in" (USA Today), and "the film’s docu-style and credible improv acting lay the foundation for an eerie and believable horror movie" (Chicago Tribune). So,
After reports of people literally throwing up in theaters, passing out in their seats, and – most importantly – record box office numbers being tallied, the list of films that wanted a piece of the demonic action came fast and furious with titles such as Ovidio G. Assonitis and Robert Barrett’s Beyond The Door, aka The Devil Within Her (1974); the great Mario Bava’s La Casa Dell’Esorcismo, aka House of Exorcism, aka Lisa and the Devil (1974); and on through the years until
Stars: Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Louis Herthum, Iris Bahr | Written by Hugh Botko & Andrew Gurland | Directed by Daniel Stamm
I like it when horror movies surprise me, and The Last Exorcism managed to, despite being potentially hamstrung by its “found footage” premise focusing on an exorcist operating in the Bible Belt.
The faux documentary follows preacher Cotton Marcus (an excellently charismatic Patrick Fabian) who has been preaching since he was 10, following in the footsteps of his father. The family deal in making money, saving souls and exorcising demons. He talks about how “every faith has exorcists, but all you hear about is the Catholic church, you know, because they’ve got that (movie)…”
Marcus is immediately likeable, a true showman, who recognises the frenzy his congregation gets into, but ultimately wants to ensure that his wife and son have the best life possible. He asks the crew to document an exorcism,
“I’ve always been a huge action film fan and a couple of friends of mine were in marriage therapy,” explained screenwriter Simon Kingberg as to the origins of Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005). “The way they were talking about it sounded kind of aggressive and mercenary. I just thought it would make an interesting template for a relationship inside of an action film.” Mayhem and chaos ensues when two married assassins are contracted to kill each other. “One of the ways that you write it is that all of the action sequences in the film have to be, in some form, expressions of where these characters are in their marriage… Instead of two people having a fight at the dinner table about the salt,
The players: Director: Daniel Stamm, Writers: Huck Botko, Andrew Gurland, Cast: Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Iris Bahr, Tony Bentley
Facts of interest: Produced by Eli Roth.
The plot: A minister trying to expose exorcism as a fraud is followed by a documentary crew while he heads out to perform one final exorcism.
Our thoughts: Yes, I finally found the time to check out Daniel Stamm’s box office hit “The Last Exorcism,” and no, the film didn’t disappoint. Okay, it didn’t exactly win me over either, but I admit I mostly enjoyed watching this low-budget horror thriller about a minister who heads to a spooky farm to perform his final exorcism.
We recently had a chance to speak with the film's producer Eli Roth as well as actors Patrick Fabian and Ashley Bell about the new film, it's scary documentary style and Bell's star-making performance. Take a look below!
Exclusive: Patrick Fabian and Ashley Bell
Exclusive: Producer Eli Roth
When he arrives on the rural Louisiana farm of Louis Sweetzer (Louis Herthum), the Reverend Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) expects to perform just another routine "exorcism" on a disturbed religious fanatic. An earnest fundamentalist, Sweetzer has contacted the charismatic preacher as a last resort, certain his teenage daughter Nell (Ashley Bell) is possessed by
1Takers$20.5 million2The Last Exorcism$20.3 million3The Expendables$9.5 million4Eat, Pray, Love$7 million5The Other Guys$6.6 million6Vampires Suck$5.3 million7Inception$5.1 million8Nanny McPhee Returns$4.7 million9The Switch$4.6 million10Piranha 3D$4.3 million#1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
Last week, Sylvester Stallone's testosterone-filled action movie The Expendables took siege of the box office for a second week in a row despite tough competition from new entries like Vampires Suck, Piranha 3D, Nanny McPhee Returns and The Switch. But this weekend Stallone's comeback movie was no match for the debut of the hip-hop heist flick Takers.
The movie boasts an all-star cast, which includes Paul Walker (Fast & Furious), Idris Elba(The Losers), Matt Dillon (Armored), Hayden Christensen (Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith), Michael Ealy (Miracle at St. Anna), Jay Hernandez (Quarantine), Chris Brown (Stomp the Yard), T.I. (American Gangster), and Zoe Saldana (Avatar). The movie made $9,298 on each of
The first thing horror fans should know is that “The Last Exorcism” is not quite what you think it is from the previews. Lionsgate has been pushing the action of the piece along with Executive Producer Eli Roth’s involvement to try and bring viewers in on opening weekend who might be looking for a “Saw”-esque gore-fest. The vast majority of “The Last Exorcism” is more of a mystery or even a character drama than what you might expect. It’s a subdued, intellectual study of
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