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The Last Exorcism Review

Movies.com Critics

3.5

Dave White Profile

Oh God! You Devil Read full review

2.5

Jen Yamato Profile

"Girl, You'll Be a Demon Soon" Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    63

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    A backwoods psychological thriller delivered faux-documentary-style, with mixed results.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    This supernatural yarn is thoroughly engrossing until it loses its way about three-quarters in. It's as if the filmmakers didn't know how to resolve the mayhem, opting for silly over diabolical.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    For a while, The Last Exorcism shrewdly exploits our voyeurism, as it sustains the teasing question of whether there's actually anything supernatural going on. The payoff, however, isn't scary enough.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Last Exorcism reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 14 & under

Tense "documentary" has some blood, lots of scares.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Last Exorcism is a fictional horror movie shot in documentary style, much like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. It's not as relentlessly scary as those R-rated films -- there's a long setup before anything horrific happens -- but once it does get going, it can be very violent and highly disturbing. Though there's some blood and plenty of "jump" scenes, most of the horror is suggested rather than shown, but that actually makes it all the more vivid to the viewer's imagination. There's discussion of a character with a drinking problem, as well as talk of potential rape and incest.

  • Families can talk about the film's violence. How much was actually shown? Was it more or less scary not being able to see everything?
  • Does the "documentary" format make the film more or less scary?
  • Is Cotton Marcus a good person, or is he a bad person who's deceiving people? What does he learn over the course of the film?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Despite its subject matter, this isn't a very spiritual film -- but it does find some good things about human beings. A cynical minister who has lost his faith agrees to let a documentary crew film a fake exorcism to prove that demon possession doesn't really exist -- but when his ceremony fails to help the victim, he does stick around to continue to try to help her.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Cotton Marcus starts off a bit like a snake oil salesman; he's a minister who has been preaching his whole life but no longer believes in what he says. But when trouble plagues the fake exorcism he sets up for filmmakers to record, he keeps risking his life to try to help the victim. By the end of the film, he comes across as quite heroic and perhaps may have even regained his faith.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: A teenage boy's face is slashed off screen; viewers see lots of blood. In one scene, Nell borrows the camera and takes it out to the barn, where she proceeds to slaughter a cat; the footage is shaky and not much is visible, but it's still a gruesome scene. There's lots of scary imagery, ranging from violent drawing, to Nell suddenly rushing at the camera. In another scene, she twists her neck and back in unholy directions. She also breaks her own fingers while possessed. Some characters are beaten to death -- the footage isn't entirely clear, but it's very suggestive. The subject of rape is addressed.

  • sex false2

    Sex: It's revealed that the teenage Nell is pregnant (it's suggested that the baby is her father's, but later a teenage boy is blamed for the deed).

  • language false1

    Language: "Jesus Christ" is used as an exclamation. Other language includes "damn."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Nell's father is said to be a drunk, though viewers never see any evidence of this.

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