For a movie made from spare parts — take The Exorcist and attach to The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity — The Last Exorcism delivers the heebie-jeebie goods. In mock documentary style (the film purports to be found footage), director Daniel Stamm follows the Rev. Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian), a disillusioned minister, on his last case of demonic possession. His focus is teenager Nell (Ashley Bell), down at the eerily remote Sweetzer farm. Her daddy (Louis Herthum) thinks something is amiss, what with the livestock dying and all. Cotton is skeptical. He performs exorcisms but thinks they're a crock. Then stuff starts flying, including intimations of devil worship, incest and I better shut up before the devil gets me for spoilers. Fabian performs way beyond scary-movie duty as the Rev., blending laughs with goose bumps at the best times, meaning when you least expect it. Stamm and producer Eli Roth (Hostel) can be trusted to exceed the PG-13 limits at every turn. It's not just the hand-held camera that will shake you up. The Last Exorcism gives you good reason to be very afraid of the dark.
From The Archives Issue 297: August 9, 1979