February 05, 2017

“Last Exorcism” clip offers clues you might not want to see


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Lions Gate has a problem on its hands. How do you market a movie like “The Last Exorcism,” which opens in theaters on Friday, without “showing your cards” regarding some of the film’s secrets?

Well, you start by putting Eli Roth’s name above the title. The director-actor has street cred with the horror crew, having helmed “Cabin Fever” and two “Hostel” films. He also has mainstream appeal, having held his own alongside Brad Pitt in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds.”

Sooner or later, though, you are going to have to start releasing clips. And clips will give away key bits of information. Like the exclusive one that’s running on Yahoo Movies.

You can check it out if you want, though I suggest you don’t. The scene they show happens pretty late in the film, and it leans in a direction the movie necessarily does not. The one-minute clip does clue you in to “Exorcism” director Daniel Stamm’s choice of handheld video and moody, reality-inspired lighting (a la “Blair Witch” or “Paranormal Activity”). It also introduces Nell (Ashley Bell) — the teenage girls wrestling with some serious demons — and Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian), the reverend trying to help her out.

Beyond that, you are better off going in with as clean a slate as possible. There’s a hook to “Exorcism” that I won’t reveal, and a motivation that’s stronger than you might expect from a late summer horror thriller. So hold off on clips and teasers for “Exorcism” if you can, because there’s nothing more terrifying than Internet spoilers.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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