I’m not sure when it started, but there is suddenly this technique in suspense thrillers and horror films that is getting old fast. The special effects guys denote any demon, zombie, ghoul or any garden variety evil creature with some extreme body contortion. Remember Linda Blair’s spinning head in The Exorcist? That’s child’s play now. Now entire limbs are bending in reverse, spines are rotating, heads are doing The Exorcist spin with a full twist in the pike position (higher degree of difficulty). Anyway, barring a bend or crack I am not imagining, the shock value has worn off, so somebody is going to have to reach into their bag of tricks and come up with something new.
Cotton Marcus (Peter Fabian) is an evangelical minister and exorcist who has performed dozens of exorcisms. As a final farewell to a disturbing career, he has agreed to let his last exorcism be filmed for a documentary. This project brings him and the film crew to the farm of Louis Sweetzer (Louis Herthum). Sweetzer claims that ever since his wife’s death, his daughter Nell (Ashley Bell) has been a little, well, off. Cotton expects to shake some holy water on the girl, say a few prayers and call it a day. After many questionable encounters in the past he is a bit jaded. What he encounters with Nell is something quite different.
Exorcism films have a difficult act to follow. The Exorcist is one of the best thrillers ever made, and even with the shoddy technology of the time, it can still send viewers diving under the bed. This film wisely takes a different tack, even going so far as to inject some humor into the writing. This genre isn’t my cup of tea but Peter Fabian’s acting is excellent and he carries the film. Sadly, it’s 10 minutes too long and the ending really deflates. But I never looked at my watch.