Who's In It:Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Iris Bahr, Louis Herthum, Caleb Landry Jones
The Basics: A smarmy country preacher named Cotton Marcus, a man who knows that religion is all about power and money, brings his fake faith and tricked-out exorcism show to a small rural farmhouse where a man believes his teenage daughter is possessed by a demon. Marcus is having an integrity crisis so he brings a documentary crew along to confess his sins on camera, to expose the tricks of charlatan exorcists on what will be his final "demon" removal mission. And then a demon shows up. Or maybe it's just mental illness. Or maybe it's...
What's The Deal: I had no expectations. It's rated PG-13, after all, and, with the exception of the awesome Drag Me to Hell, that's usually the total kiss of stupidity for a horror movie. Even Eli Roth as a producer didn't give me hope and I think all his movies are great. (If you're reading this, Mr. Roth, I'm waiting patiently for Thanksgiving.) And the Blair Witchy doc-stylings initially annoyed me, too. And then it drew me into the mystery. And I ping-ponged back and forth between the thing I thought was going on and the other thing I thought was going on until the end when it pulled the rug out from under me. I left surprised and smiling.
What It Rips Off, Besides The Exorcist, Elmer Gantry, The Blair Witch Project And This Other 1970s Movie About Satan That I Won't Name Or I'd Be Giving Away The Ending: All those movies where that moment in the action comes that the characters should run and not look back when they have half a chance or at least call 911, the kind where the audience is actually yelling at the screen, "DON'T GO IN THAT HOUSE, FOOL!" but then they always go in that house anyway. At lot of people hate that moment in a horror movie, that point where the logic of self-preservation goes out the window for the characters seal their doom, but I really like it. That's the moment where you enter actual insanity and that's something I really enjoy. The naysayers complain, "Well that would never happen!" And I always want to reply, "Um... you are watching a movie about supernatural monsters/invincible serial murderers. At which point were you expecting it to become something that resembled anyone's real life?" So I'm saying it now.
Funniest Part: If you follow the idea that this is a documentary, that means someone found the footage and cut it together and made it into a movie. And then, not believing that the subject matter itself was horrifying enough, they decided to add a creepy score to emphasize everything that's evil. I also liked the bit about the girl being homeschooled. It's hilarious when hicks do that.
See Also: Marjoe, the documentary about child-evangelist-turned-actor Marjoe Gortner. You may remember him from Earthquake, Food of the Gods, Falcon Crest or American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt. Or not.