The Last Exorcism (2010/Lionsgate Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack)
Picture: C+/C Sound:
C+/C Extras: 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
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