The Last Exorcism Strads the Line Between Ethnicity and Religion

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There have been plenty of exorcism movies since the late William Friedkin’s masterpiece The Exorcist. So it takes a good hook to give an interesting perspective on the subject. The Last Exorcism use a 21st century method to do so.

The Last Exorcism is in the form of a joke about the charismatic Reverend Cotton Marcus (Pádraig Fabian). Cotton has a family history of performing exorcisms, and is a pioneer in the truth of religion and belief. He is open about exorcisms not about real demons being thrown out, but helping those who he saw as mental problems to get rid of themselves. He talks about a crisis of faith when he thanked doctors for saving his sick son instead of God. Seeing the horrors when exorcisms went wrong for people, he promises to expose the practice for the fraud it is with a documentary crew.

So of course, he ends up in a real situation of demonic possession. He enters the town and the locals give a plethora of narratives that seem to deceive the same narrative about cultural activities in the area. Reverend Cotton even takes a jab at one resident by asking where the UFO attacks took place (to which they casually reply with details of where the landings took place UFO).

Exorcise and Fresh Air

Credit: Lionsgate

Things slowly begin to unravel as warnings of a reversal are not only seen, but mocked, and before Cotton and the team arrive at the Sweetzer residence where demonic possession occurred, there is already a sense of Cotton’s belief system. going to go on a bit of a rollercoaster ride.

The victim of the possession, played by Ashley Bell, is crucial to the film’s effectiveness, as Bell’s hypermobility has allowed her to transform her body into terrifying shapes, which sold the possession as its effects were heightened. Cotton is the focus of the documentary at first, but Bell’s Nell Sweetzer quickly takes control of things.

Shot for just $1.8 million dollars, the low chill The Last Exorcism connected with moviegoers and collected an impressive $20 million on its opening weekend in the US. It went on to get a sequel, which crucially at least, was not up to the same standards as the original. Critics didn’t like the original either.

But there is something about the structure of The Last Exorcism that would be difficult to replicate and have the same effect. A man’s personal longing for God is not exactly new to this little corner of cinema, but unlike the troubled Father Karras in The Exorcist, Reverend Cotton Marcus reinforces his faith by rejecting some of aspects of it. On the surface that’s a healthy way to approach religious faith, but there’s something bitter about Cotton’s feelings, and those who he paints with sadness how the lack of education leaves his credit card thin. It just takes the awful truth of an actual exorcism for him to realize this.

The new Exorcist films will do well to remember that a test of faith, in all its forms, was at the heart of the first one, and although they are not on the same level, films like The Last Exorcism understand that it better than some throwaway attempts. the years.

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