Sunday, February 27, 2011

Night of the Demons (1988)

Also on tap for the Monster Mania convention is a Night of the Demons reunion.  I haven't seen this movie in years, but this definitely made it worth a revisit. 

Night of the Demons is pure late 80s cheesiness at its finest.  Endless stereotypes, corny overacting, and over the top effects.  Also, of course, the story makes only vague sense, but wasn't that what the 80s was all about?

A group of high schoolers decide to ditch the Halloween dance and instead go party at an abandoned funeral home.  What is pumped up to be the party of the year ends up being only ten people, with some stolen food and a boombox.  Every stereotype possible is represented in this movie, including virginal goody two-shoes Judy (Cathy Podewell), token black guy Rodger (Alvin Alexis), token Asian gal Frannie (Jill Terashita), resident slut Suzanne (Linnea Quigley), fat sexist pig Stooge (Hal Havins), ditzy Helen (Allison Baron), guido Sal (Billy Gallo) and goth outcast Angela (Amelia Kinkade).

Everyone is drinking and having a blast when they decide to play some sort of crazy mirror game.  Somebody sees a demon/ghoul/aberration/whatever and flips out.  Helen and Rodger decide to split, while some of the couples take off to "explore" (each other, ha!)  One by one, the teenagers get possessed by demons, resulting in gore and hilarity.  The effects in this one were really fun and it was chock-full of the one liners that made the 80s so awesome. 

I'm excited to see the actors at the upcoming con, and I may even consider checking out the remake ;)

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Children of the Corn (1984)

The upcoming Monster Mania convention in NJ is having a Children of the Corn reunion, so of course I needed to do a rewatch.  Children of the Corn is one of my favorite Stephen King stories, and I also think it's a pretty good movie adaptation.

Children of the Corn is about the small town of Gatlin, Nebraska, where the kids living there got religion.  One day, after being commanded by "He Who Walks Behind the Rows," they kill all the adults in town, sacrificing them to their corn god.

They continue to live in the town, led by creepy preacher Isaac (John Franklin) and bully Malachi (Courtney Gains).   They live in constant fear of the god living in the fields, and require the kids to be sacrificed on their 19th birthdays.  They all also have to change their names to biblical ones, aren't allowed to anything fun, and certainly aren't allowed to leave.

Meanwhile, couple Burt and Vicky (Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton) are traveling through Nebraska on their way to a medical internship for Burt.  When arguing over the map, Burt hits a kid who is standing in the middle of the road.  They obviously freak out, but Burt becomes especially alarmed when he realizes that the child's throat was cut, and that he likely did not die from the impact of the car.

They stick the kid in the trunk and head to Gatlin to try to find a police station or a phone.  Of course, they are headed straight into psycho religious hell.  As they try to find a phone, or even an adult, they are terrorize by the children, who are itching to add an adult sacrifice to appease "He Who Walks Behind the Rows."

This is such a fun movie, and the kids are uber creepy.  This spawned a whopping seven sequels, none of which I've seen, but if Netflix adds then to instant, maybe I'll make a marathon out of it.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Movie News: Rob Zombie's T-Rex is pretty much dead in the water

This week, Rob Zombie has been in the UK, and he has been talking movie projects, both failed and upcoming.  He's moving full speed ahead with Lords of Salem and he has completely dropped H3 and The Blob remake.  Unfortunately, this also seems to be the demise of Tyrannosaurus Rex.  

Originally slated to be released in 2009, here was what the plot was supposed to be, based loosely on a Zombie/Steve Niles comic collaboration, The Nail.

"Hunted in one of the most desolate regions of America, preyed upon by an evil that does not sleep, Rex Hauser is The Nail - and it's time he took a stand. A semi-pro wrestler, Hauser has been touring the country performing at small-time arenas until the fateful night he and his family run afoul of a bloodthirsty gang of Satanic bikers stalking the North Dakota Badlands. Now he's a lone man fighting for the survival of his loved ones in a no-holds-barred standoff against the forces of Hell itself! Co-written by the newly formed CREEP International writing team of modern horror masters Rob Zombie and Steve Niles, The Nail is a relentless, unflinching portrait of the heart of darkness, and what one man will sacrifice to hold it at bay." (source)

In a recent interview, Rob stated that "Tyrannosaurus Rex is another project he'd still like to do as well." (source)  However, rumor has it that Rob was supposed to do The Blob in order to get the backing he needed for T-Rex.  Although the script seems to be nearly complete (or actually complete), it looks like this one isn't happening anytime soon.

Chain Letter (2010)

I've been looking forward to seeing this flick, although I was not too sure what to expect from it.  The subject of email chain letters is less than timely, as I think the popularity of those peaked several years ago.  Nevertheless, that is the subject of Chain Letter.  The nerdy brother of the high school princess receives a chain letter while playing World of Warcraft.  In order to irritate his sister, who is trying to force him off of the computer, he forwards the chain letter to her and her friends.

The letter states that if you don't forward the message to five people, then you will die.  While some of the teens laugh it off and delete it, others don't want to take their chances and forward it along.  Of course, this results in dozens of high schoolers receiving the chain letter.  Unfortunately, due to some sort of bug in the chain letter, the sender(s) can tell when the email has been ignored or deleted.  And what happens to the poor saps that don't forward it on?  They get killed, using, you guessed it...chains!

I thought the deaths were pretty awesome, and they were probably the highlight of this movie.  There was some considerable actors in this flick - Brad Dourif, Keith David, Betsy Russell, and Nikki Reed, but save for a relatively cool premise and some badass death scenes, this one was pretty forgettable.  The ending was pretty unclear....although I kind of got where they were headed with the anti-technology group, their methods made zero sense.  Obviously, they're trying to bank in advance by immediately setting it up for a Chain Letter 2, but let's hope they never get around to making that.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Monsters (2010)

I've been dying to watch Monsters ever since I got hooked up with a free shirt at the New York Comic Con last summer.  What can I say, I'm a sucker for free stuff.   The taglines really intrigued me: "After 6 years, they're no longer aliens, they're residents.  Now it's our turn to adapt."  Well, in my opinion, the tagline has nothing to do with the actual movie, so I'm not sure who came up with that one.  I expected that Americans would be living under alien rule or some shit, but that's not what this movie is about at all.

Monsters is about a journalist, Andrew (Scoot McNairy) and a woman Samantha (Whitney Able), who are sort of stuck in Mexico.  And as it so turns out, Samantha is Andrew's boss's daughter and he gets directed to get her the fuck out of there.  Why, you ask?  Because much of Mexico is inhabited by aliens, and they're going to start completely sealing the borders and ceasing travel throughout Mexico.  Andrew and Sam pay $10,000 to get on the last ferry out of the area, but then arrive the next day to find out that there will be no such ferry.  The only other option is to pay an exorbitant amount to be escorted through the "infected zone" after which they will be responsible for getting themselves over the U.S. border.


The "monsters" in question actually look much like the pod-things from the Tom Cruise version of War of the Worlds.  You honestly don't see too much of them, instead hearing their noises and seeing the impact of their destruction.  Andrew and Samantha's trip through Mexico was realistic and actually quite breathtaking at times.  The movie did a great job of depicting a world that was impacted greatly, but where people unable to leave needed to go about living their lives.  The directors claim that the movie was filmed "opportunistically," and that the actors were given an outline of the script, and encouraged to interact freely with each other, and the extras, who were mostly people just hanging out.  They filmed everything on location but (ssshhh) didn't really seem to get permission for anything.  I haven't really heard of a movie being filmed in this manner, but I think the results were good.

If you like end-of-the-world movies, aliens, or just plain despair, definitely check out Monsters.

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Stag Night (2008)

I apologize to everyone in advance, but I reviewed this movie as a New Yorker.  I try not to review New York City-based movies from the perspective of the all-knowing bitter cynic that I've become, but it's hard.  Oh so hard.  Especially when the men in this movie identify themselves as being "somewhere downtown," then enter the Bedford Avenue L Station (in Brooklyn, by the way) and then get on a 7 train, which runs from Flushing, Queens to Times Square.  I'm aware that most viewers won't recognize these mistakes, but what happened to continuity, dammit?

The basic premise of this movie is a group of men are out at a bachelor party.  A particularly rowdy member of the group starts a fight at the strip club and they are promptly ejected.  Another encourages the group to board the subway and head uptown to another spot.  When on the train, they encounter two attractive women and start hitting on them.  When one of the women gets annoyed with the flirtation, she whips out the pepper spray and forces the subway doors open, right into an abandoned station.  Now, I'm 99 percent sure that you cannot force the doors open on the subway in NYC, so this little plot point fell pretty flat for me.  Also, there are very few abandoned stations that the subway physically runs through anymore, so that's another thing.

Anyway, both the interior of the subway car and the station they end up in are highly unrecognizable.  This is because the majority of this movie was filmed in Sofia, Bulgaria, which looks absolutely nothing like NYC, or it's transit system.  As the group tries to get out of the locked station, by using the tunnels, they encounter cannibals and angry dogs, all of whom are living underground with electricity and television.  The camera work is horrendous, and all of the action is Blair Witch-style shaky.  I really didn't care about any of these characters, who were really too stupid for their own good and didn't have a shred of common sense amongst them.

If you want a good subway-themed thriller, check out Creep from the UK.  That one wasn't perfect either, but it was a hell of a lot better than Stag Night.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I Spit on Your Grave: Unrated (2010)

I Spit on Your Grave (2010) so desperately wanted to be as controversial and shocking as I Spit on Your Grave (1978).  Unfortunately, we're a nation that has lived through 2 Hostels and 7 Saws so it takes an awful lot to shock us nowadays.  My feelings about the I Spit on Your Grave remake are very similar to how I feel about the Last House on the Left remake.  Both were good movies, but veered pretty far from the original.  So why not just make it a different movie?  Some aspects of ISOYG felt forced since they were trying to maintain some semblance of the original.  I think I would have liked it more overall if it was just a different movie, maybe inspired by the original.  

The problem with remaking/updating these 70s movies is that a lot of stuff really isn't as plausible nowadays.  It's hard enough to believe that a young, attractive woman would elect to spend a summer in a cabin by herself, but seriously, without even a landline?  So obviously, the premise of the movie is the same.  Young writer Jennifer Hills takes a break from the city for the summer to write in peace in a cabin in the woods.  This time the cabin is in the south (unclear where) and little Miss Jennifer brings along enough pot and booze to bring down a rhino.

One night, when imbibing in said booze and pot, some creepers that she met earlier at the gas station decide to pay her a little visit.  Now, I found the guys in the original to be way more creepy and disturbing, but it was also hard for me to get past the fact that one of them was the gay guy from Mean Girls.  As to be expected, they torment and assault her, until she escapes and runs into the town sheriff.  Sadly for Jennifer, he is just as demented as the townies and delights in hurting her as well.

As the story goes, she's left for dead as the men move on with their chauvenistic hick lives.  But not for long.  They all begin to get clues that Jennifer is very much alive, and she starts picking them off one by one.  The deaths in this movie are definitely different from the original.  There's no seduction going on here, as Jennifer takes the men off guard and tortures them with various implements she discovers in a tool shed.  The kills were awesome and gory, and were my favorite part of this movie.

I'd definitely say that I Spit on Your Grave (1978) was a better and more impactful movie than this one.  But as remakes go, this was actually pretty good, although I think they could have done a better job casting Jennifer Hill.  I think Sarah Butler sort of phoned it in, and half the time she looked more like a bored Jersey girl than a femme fatale.  The ending was so confusing because (kinda spoilers) I have no idea how she could have gotten away with it since she made it clear to others what she was doing.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Movie News: Rob Zombie Gives Us a Minor Update on "The Lords of Salem"

So The Lords of Salem is starting to sound like a remake of The Gate.  "Demonic minions are released by a DJ after playing a haunted record?"  Come on now.  Well I'm picturing minions in terms of those little claymation dudes, but it looks like it's going to be the spirits of a coven of 300 year old witches.  Rob is interested in doing a Salem Witch Trials-based movie because he grew up in Massachusetts, and I guess that's all the reason he needs.

Apparently, Zombie originally intended to create a Lords of Salem band (random) or a comic book with Steve Niles.  Neither of these ideas came to fruition and now we have this movie. Shooting is expected to start in the spring/summer, and IMDB has no info except listing Sheri Moon Zombie as the only actor/actress.  Please Rob do not wedge my beloved Baby Firefly into another role that is clearly not suited for her.  I just can't take it.  I hope her casting is just an assumption on IMDB's part.

Unlike his previous movies, apparently Rob will have all the say on the final cut of the movie.  Which could be a good or bad thing, depending on whether you're thinking of House of 1000 Corpses or Halloween 2.

Definitely more to come on this as casting gets underway!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dread (2009)

Oh, 8 Movies to Die For....how you tempt me.  You're good, you're bad, you're in between.  Luckily for me, Dread was right on the money.  Based on a short story by Clive Barker (which is not available on Kindle, dammit), Dread is about a group of college students who decide to do their thesis project on people's deepest fears.

The dominant member of the group, Quaid, obviously has deeply seeded problems.  After watching his parents be murdered as a young child, he is obsessed with fear.  The group interviews numerous people to discover their most secret fears, but Quaid is not really impressed with any of them, aside from a young, hearing impaired man.  After an accident as a child, the man lost his hearing for a few years, and then miraculously regained it.  He now constantly fears losing his hearing again. 

Quaid also becomes obsessed with the fears of his fellow project participants.  As it turns out, they've both survived tragic instances in their lives.  Stephen's brother died in a car accident that he was almost a part of.  Cheryl's father repeatedly molested her, and Abby is terribly afraid of being embarrassed by her large birthmarks.

Instead of being a supportive individual like a NORMAL PERSON, Quaid takes it a couple steps further.  He decides to make each of these individuals confront their worst fears, which he thinks will cure them.  The "confronting" with the deaf guy and Stephen were meh at best, but Cheryl and Abby....oh my freakin' god.  I was literally squirming around in my seat. 

This flick is a little slow in the beginning, but the last half hour is awesome.  The end is so crazy and perfect....I loved it.  I might have to step away from my Kindle for a bit in order to get this story in paperback.

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Endurance: A Novel of Terror (2010)

When I finished Trapped I didn't waste a moment downloading Endurance and getting right to reading.  Once again, the amount of research and detail that Kilborn/Konrath puts into these books is incredible.  Endurance contains crazy explanations of inbreeding/birth defects, amputee logistics, American history, and just general backwoods craziness.

West Virginia certainly isn't going to be giving Jack any awards for this book, as it intricately details the stereotypes that the state has become known for.  Endurance is the story of a women's triathlon that takes place in rural West Virginia.  Several women arrive to find out that the room they reserved is not available, but that a little-known bed and breakfast has vacancies.

Little do they know that the B&B is populated by generations of genetically mutated men, and their psychotic mother.  Convinced that the family is a carrier of presidential genes, the matriarch, Eleanor, encourages rape and inbreeding in order to continue their bloodline and strive to create the next President.  But with presidential heritage comes problems.  All of Eleanor's kin suffer from hemophilia, and require regular blood transfusions in order to stay alive.  And since they don't desire to get transfusions the legal way, they kidnap and imprison people from their creepy-ass inn.

The vibe of this book was so creepy and the detail made me feel like I was actually there.  The ending opened it up for a sequel, and Jack wants his readers to let him know if we want one.  Dear Mr. Konrath, if you're listening, a sequel would be awesome!  Looks like "support unrated horror" is spilling into the literary world ;) 


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Trapped: A Novel of Terror (2010)

I rarely read a book and think to myself, "they should really make a movie out of this."  Since Hollywood has run out of ideas, they pretty much make a movie out of every book anyway.  But this time is different.  Dear movie producers, pleasepleasepleaseplease make a movie out of Jack's Kilborn's Trapped.  If only I could just see how they make "the pet," my life may very well be complete.

As I mentioned before Jack Kilborn is the horror pen name for J.A. Konrath.  Several of his horror novels were previously unpublished, but the glory of Kindle has made them available for the world.  Trapped was meant to be the sequel to Afraid but even after numerous cuts and edits, the publishers nixed it.  When you download it on Kindle, you get both the original and uncut versions, and the author encourages you to review the book and choose the version you liked better.

I have to be honest, I actually like the cut version better.  Not because of any of the sex and violence that got chopped from it, but the stories just made more sense.  I preferred the army general story to the whole Chinese dude backstory, and Sara being trapped in the box by her sadistic cousin just made more sense than the kidnapping deal. 

Trapped is the story of a couple, on the verge of divorce, who run a sort of halfway house/rehab program for troubled teens.  Unfortunately the center is closing, and a camping trip one of the last times they will have to spend with the kids.  The kids in question are inner-city Detroit fuckups, who have been saved from jail by committing themselves to this program.

Sara and Martin are the couple, and they have brought along their baby, Jack.  Martin knows this island from trips he took with his brother when he was younger, and swears its a good time.  But as soon as they arrive, things start going wrong.  Martin disappears, and when Sara and one of the teens go searching for him, things go horribly wrong.  They discover that the island is inhabited by cannibals, as well as a sick doctor running demented experiments.

I will give it to Kilborn/Konrath, he seriously does his freakin' research for these stories.  The details of the cannibals, torture, surgeries, etc. were amazing and really just sucked you into the story.  I laid awake at night a couple of times, trying to picture the "pet" and Subject 33's torture device.  If loving these stories makes me a sick individual, then get the straightjacket ready, because I can't wait to get to the next one!

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Bitter Feast (2010)

I feel like I've been watching/reading a lot of torture lately.  If I were any other person in their right mind, I'd have to take a break and watch a Jennifer Aniston movie or something.  But you know me, I'm downloading Endurance to my Kindle and trying to get the original I Spit on Your Grave from Best Buy.

Bitter Feast was a cool movie that sort of broke away from the tried and true kidnap and torture plots.  Peter Grey is a self-absorbed pretentious TV chef on the verge of a breakdown.  He is about to lose his organic-themed cooking show, which is pretty much the basis for his career.  He walks into his new restaurant, Feast, to find out he's being fired from there as well.  Why, you say?  Because of a horrible review from snarky food blogger, JT Franks.

So what does a rational celebrity chef do?  Well, of course, kidnap the food blogger and torture him in all kinds of crazy ways.  This guy is seriously a sick individual and has no problem keeping JT locked up in the basement, withholding food, poisoning him, and beating the crap out of him with a hot cast iron pan.  But meanwhile, there are people that care about JT that are looking for him.  Will they get in the way of Peter's sadistic plans?

I liked this flick.  Mario Batali makes a cameo, which is a good time, and both the story and the acting are good.  Although there is definitely torture, it's a little more calculated than the standard stuff, and the motivation for Peter really rings true.  Definitely worth checking out.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Random: New Obsession - Jack Kilborn/J.A. Konrath

Up until recently, I have been in graduate school for the last two and a half years.  There are lots of things you give up when getting your masters' and one of those casualities is leisure reading.  Commuting and down time in the evening is replaced by reading textbooks and journal articles instead of the gory tomes I love so dear.

I become a bit obsessive with certain authors and types of literature.  I went on a chick-lit spree a couple of summers ago, reading every Jennifer Weiner-esque book I could get my hands on.   Last summer revolved around my discovery of Jack Ketchum, and I found myself standing in line at Borders weekly, plucking up another Ketchum paperback.

For Christmas, I recieved the Amazon Kindle.  I am not into shilling any company, but this is literally one of the best gifts I've ever gotten.  I can read books everywhere, even standing on the subway or sweating on the elliptical, without struggling to keep the pages open.  Additionally, many horror novels on the Kindle are cheap or even FREE. (I'm not kidding)  And this is how I discovered Jack Kilborn/J.A. Konrath.

This man has written many books, a number of which have gone unpublished.  Several of his previously unpublished works are now available on Kindle for rock-bottom prices.  Although he writes many mysteries and thrillers nowadays, most of his rejected and sliced up works were down-and-dirty horror.  I've been wanting to post more book reviews on this site, and Kilborn's books are just the right place to get started.  I'm in the midst of reading Trapped and I literally can't put it down.  I'm sitting at my desk in my office, and my sleeping Kindle is in my bag, taunting me.

If King's works aren't nasty enough for you, and you've already plowed your way through Ketchum's books, then make Kilborn your next stop.  His writing is definitely not for the weak of heart....or stomach.


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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Let Me In (2010)

It's been weird watching so many "mainstream" movies lately.  Recent theater-run horror for me is usually just a random interruption in my Netflix queue before I get the next b-movie, foreign flick, or straight-to-DVD nonsense.

Anyway, there seems to be a lot of popular horror being released lately and one of these movies is Let Me In.  This, of course, is a remake of the Swedish Let the Right One In.  Right off the bat, I was hesitant about watching this movie.  I loved Let The Right One In and I didn't want this to ruin it for me.  Also, I heard that they removed a few things from the plot to make it "less complicated" for American audiences.  Really, have we become so stupid America that we even need vampire movie dumbed-down for us?

They really got some great leads for Let Me In in Kodi Smit-McPhee (Owen) and Chloe Moretz (Abby).  I loved Kodi in the road, and Chloe looks promising.  In fact, for most of the movie, she looks like a mini Danielle Harris.  Could she be the next generation's scream queen?

I digress.  Let Me In follows generally the same plot line as its predecessor, except this takes place in New Mexico in the 80s.  They mix up the storyline a bit, making it kind of start near the end and then sort of go backwards.  And all the killings were different, which sort of made sense, because some of them really wouldn't fit with suburban New Mexico. Abby replaces Eli, and is more of an evil, glowing-eye vampire than they make Eli out to be.  Owen is good as the bullied kid, however, it's somehow not as convincing as Oskar.

And that's pretty much how I felt about this whole movie -- just not as convincing.  I really wish I had been able to see it on its own, without ever seeing Let the Right One In, because all I did was compare the two.  I just couldn't look at it as a separate movie.  It was a good flick, overall, but it just didn't give me that gut feeling that I got from watching Let the Right One In.  And it just seemed like they tried too hard to make Abby a "scary vampire", what with her scary voice and glowing eyes and all that nonsense.  And it wasn't clear why the old man was helping her, while it was quite clear in the previous version.

Anyway, this is probably not that objective of a review, because I just couldn't look past the first movie.  All I did was compare the two and think about how I liked Let the Right One In better.  So if you loved Let the Right One In, you're probably not going to like Let Me In as much.  But if you liked Let Me In, then run to your Netflix and get Let the Right One In.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Survival of the Dead (2009)

I'm kinda over the slow-moving zombies, and I'm more scared/a fan of the quick-moving brain-eaters a la 28 Days Later.  However, I do understand that George Romero is the father of the zombie genre, and his earlier movies are classics.

That said, what the fuck is Romero thinking these days?  I thought Land of the Dead was pretty meh and that ridiculous garbage Diary of the Dead must have been some sort of fluke.  But alas, along came Survival of the Dead, which is truly the worst thing that's ever come from Romero.  I might get crucified for saying this, but the zombie landscape has changed.  With the advent of spastic racing zombies from 28 Days/Weeks and the proliferation of zombie comedies like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland, the slow, staggering, moaning zombies just are not making people lose sleep at night anymore.

I sort of understood the statement that Romero was trying to make with this movie, although this really wouldn't be the first time we've seen it.  Although a lot of people would kill off family and friends that turned into zombies, but what would happen if you decided to keep them alive and wait for a cure?  Or try to get them to eat something else besides humans?  These are the issues we confront in Survival.

Where this actually could have been addressed in a pretty interesting way, Romero takes a wrong turn and makes Survival into a hokey Hatfield/McCoy type of drama with lots of weird accents.  You see, there's this island, Plum Island to be exact.  There aren't too many people living on the island, but that doesn't make it zombie-free.  In fact, the zombies residing on the island are causing drama amongst the residents.  Half the people (led by Patrick O'Flynn) want to destroy the remaining zombies and live happily ever after, while the other half (led by Seamus Muldoon) wants to keep them restrained and wait for a cure.  Meanwhile, a group of survivors gets a transmission urging people to travel to the safety of Plum Island.  When the group arrives on the island, they are attacked by Muldoon and decide to fight back. 

The zombies in this movie are so un-scary, it's laughable.  The extermination of the zombies is akin to swatting flies, as they just seem to be a bit of an annoyance to the survivors.  There are zombies raking and zombies delivering mail.  And even though Romero has publicly spoken against fast zombies, he apparently thought it was okay to stick one on horseback.

I have no doubt that Romero is a great movie maker.  I just hope that in the future, he steps away from the zombie genre and applies his talents elsewhere.  This one was an epic fail.

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The Last Exorcism (2010)

I'm really getting pretty tired of exorcism movies, but I like Eli Roth, so I decided to give this one a chance.  The Last Exorcism is the story of Rev. Cotton Marcus, who was raised by his father to be a preacher.  After the difficult birth of his son, he realizes that he put more trust in the doctors than in God, and therefore begins to question his faith.

Because of this, he allows a documentary crew to film what he plans on being his last exorcism.  Cotton is sort of making a joke of his congregation at this point, preaching to them about banana bread as they cry "Praise Jesus!"  He tells the documentary crew that he will open at random one of the many letters begging him for help, and that will be the end of his exorcist days.  He tears open a letter from Louis Sweetzer, which details the deaths of his livestock and possible possession of his daughter Nell.  Cotton chuckles at the standardness of this exorcism request, and they take off for rural Lousiana.

The crew gets there to find a drunk father, a surly teenager, and a teenage daughter who keeps waking up covered in blood.  Cotton begins the exorcism process and we learn that this whole thing is a farce.  He has all this trickery and illusions in order to make onlookers think that they're in the presence of a demon, but not so much.  He finishes the "exorcism" and takes the cash, but it doesn't take long to realize that this chick needed Father Karras and not some half-assed faker.

This movie was a pretty cool buildup to an ending that seriously sucked ass.  It's like the writers just gave up like three-quarters of the way into the script.  I thought this movie definitely had potential, and Ashley Bell was seriously creepy.  But the ending just fell so flat and much was left totally unxplained.  Meh.

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