You know a movie is going to be good when it starts with a suspiciously robed man holding a cross in his undies while strapped in explosives–said no one ever.
The Last Exorcist tells the story of two girls dealing with a series of unfortunate events. Jo (Rachele Brooke Smith) and Maddie (Terri Ivens) witness a terrible thing when their possessed mother stabs their stepfather to death. After that, without knowing who contacted the church, their mother dies during an exorcism. They’re both sent to live with a priest who takes Maddie with him to perform exorcisms for reasons unknown, as if the trauma of witnessing a murder and watching her mother commit suicide wasn’t enough. Some years later, the priest is victim of a bombing. When both girls find out about the priest’s death Maddie feels destroyed while Jo couldn’t give a damn and proceeds with her life as if nothing happened. After watching Maddie scrub several toilets (she works as a church janitor) we learn Jo has been possessed by the same demon that took over her mother. Will Maddie save her sister before she meets the same end as her mother? Can demons be attached to a family from generation to generation?
And how long does it take to become a priest, anyway? It could be 10 to 12 years but in the magical kingdom portrayed where anything can happen it could be a 12 second transition from scene A to scene B. On the bright side, it features Danny Trejo for a while. Also, one of the characters claims what you’re watching cannot be explained by science but it certainly can’t be explained by religion, either. The Last Exorcist goes beyond what’s been established in exorcism films and tries to reinvent the wheel but fails tremendously from beginning to end–it’s just terrible. It’s as if Paris Hilton became an exorcist online in an episode of The Simple Life to save Nicole Richie but in the end just complains and has someone else worry about it while she takes a sip of iced coffee from one hand and carries her Bible lined in pink suede in the other.
I’m not a fan of films that assume the audience is dumb, it’s insulting and not at all enjoyable. If the filmmakers wants people to invest time in their product, they should also invest time in researching facts for a script. We, the audience, aren’t asking for a game-changer–just coherent plots that have the possibility of gathering cult followings who come back for more instead of running to the hills to avoid your stories. The Last Exorcist tries to play smart by karate chopping your demons away but contradicts itself by establishing ideas from the beginning only to go against them as the plot supposedly thickens when it derails and murders every passenger onboard. Even when Danny Trejo appears as a guest star to save the film, because if you ask me anything can usually be saved with his presence, it’s not enough to exorcise its own mistakes.
2 OUT OF 10 RELIGIOUS DEMONS
|The Last Exorcist|