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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.
Provides examples of:
- Based on a Great Big Lie: Cotton tries to prove that exorcisms and demon possessions are this.
- 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.
- Foreshadowing: Nell's drawings.
- And the interview of locals telling of a Satanic cult.
- Evil All Along: Pastor Manley and Caleb.
- Hollywood Atheist: The Rev. Cotton Marcus
- Hollywood Satanism:
- Humanoid Abomination: But it's not who you think...
- Jittercam: Not so bad as most.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Cotton, who is a Hollywood Atheist and showman that comes to find evidence of genuine supernatural activity. Subverted in the last fifteen minutes of the film, when he finds that he is not dealing with Demonic Possession (which is implied to have been at least partially psychosomatic), but a cult summoning something heavily implied to be the big bad himself.