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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Demons > Possession > The Last Exorcism (2010/Lionsgate Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack)

The Last Exorcism (2010/Lionsgate Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack)

Picture: C+/C     Sound: C+/C     Extras: B-   Film: B


Much of the advertising on The Last Exorcism (2010) has played up Eli Rothís credit as a producer. Though it has certainly helped to spread the word, there is little of his own style to be seen here. While not passing judgment on his other films, a healthy distance from his signature gore is a good thing in this instance.Here the scares play out with suspense rather than bloody deaths, and the film is all the richer for it.

Reverend Cotton Marcus has been performing exorcisms through his church from a young age. In spite of his pleasant, loving nature, he is still a non-believer when it comes to the demons he purports to drive out. Tired of the hokum, and after another manís Christian rituals leave a young boy dead, he decides to exorcise one more individual while the cameraís eye is watching.

What continues to unfold is one of the most intelligent horror films Iíve seen in the past six years. Whether or not the girl he has come to save is really under demonic influence is something to be debated by the audience until the close of the film. The ending is sure to come as a surprise, though not necessarily a welcome one.

In spite of this abrupt and out of place final scene, there is so much originality on display that what does work in this picture more than makes up for a shortcoming like this.

The picture is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and is in 1080p digital High Hefinition on the Blu-ray, with the DVD edition maintaining the same aspect ratio.Quality of the image is good considering that this is a digital production, but is nothing too mind blowing.

Sound is presented in 7.1 DTS-HD on the Blu-ray, while the DVD is 5.1 Dolby Digital. Both tracks exhibit good use of surround, but the DTS track is the clear winner here.Although the audio isn't the cleanest, it is representative of the type of recording quality you would get live in the field with this type of setup.Bonus features are plentiful, and for the most part entertaining. These include three audio commentaries, trailers, and audition footage.

There are also "real" stories of exorcism, though the eyewitness interview is very poorly acted. Rather than bolstering the realism of the package as a whole, its blatantly fake staging has the opposite effect on the viewer.

Not one who typically goes for docu-style horror, I was at first hesitant that my experience with this movie would be any different from the Blair Witchís and Paranormal Activityís of the world. While flawed, I found this movie to be much smarter than its brethren, and a viewing comes highly recommended to those who appreciate both classic and modern horror films.


-†† David Milchick


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