The Last Exorcism ★★★

We all know the story by now. A teenage girl who's going through the ringer (a missing parent, puberty, generally being a woman in a mans world) gets taken over by a demonic force. Or so she says. The only option, obviously, is to call on a church leader (a priest/reverand/pastor) to come over and exorcise the demon out of the girl (by means of a bible and holy water, not by forcing her down to the local gym). The Last Exorcism uses this very plot, but, rather cleverly twists the story into the dirction of the reverand, who is admittedly not what he seems. He is in fact a fake, using tricks and a talent for acting to fool families into believing he has cast out a demon from one of their own. Although, things aren't what they seem with the girl and (dramatic pause) she may actually be posessed by a demon after all. Everything about thus film screams been there done that, but for the most part it actually manages to tay fresh, offering a rather nifty twist on the posession storyline. It's scary too, which is always a bonus with horror movies. It really could of been an outstanding movie if the the film-makers where actually willing to take more dares, and try new things. The ending for example is everything you'd expect and then some. Rushed, like all ideas had just run out. The film builds on tension, and builds the story up, for it to just jump the shark, at the end, and it's this bad ending that leaves a sour taste in your mouth, like so many other horror films do. It's the poor ending that leaves the lasting impression, not the brilliance that goes before it. Still, the direction and canera work is beautiful, it may actually be the "Scorcesse of Found footage films" if such a thing existed, and the performances are strong. The found footage gimic is very popular these days, and The Last Exorcism utilises and embraces the technique, but the Paranormal Activity series is still far more entertaining.