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The Dream Machine --- The Imagination of the World Wide Web
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Reverend Cotton Marcus is ready to expose his miraculous deeds as trickery and invites a documentary crew to film his last exorcism. Although, when the devil actually possesses a girl's body, Marcus must regain his faith and engage in the fight of good vs evil. The story is the same faith vs. the devil type, in the beginning at least. The film's story steers in an entirely different direction as the film gets going that the trailer doesn't show. However, giving this away could ruin the film experience, so I won't ruin it. The dialogue is well-written and depicts the characters with detail. This character study really makes the audience feel for Cotton and have a hatred for a couple other characters. The ending is quick and the credits roll before the viewer gets a chance to process what has exactly occurred.
Cotton Marcus is played by Patrick Fabian, and Ashley Bell performs as Nell, the possessed girl. Before the lights dimmed at the world premiere for the film, the film's producer Eli Roth spoke on the microphone stating that these are first time actors and has a first time director involved. The cast is surprisingly fantastic. There isn't one actor that doesn't deliver. Ashley Bell makes a large impact as Nell and is able to give the feel of her character accurately. The entire cast interacts with ease and nothing feels forced.
The Last Exorcism isn't a high budget flick. However, very few FX are actually used. There is no major make up used to make Nell look like the devil, all of the shock is created by the actors. There are a few gags, but they are pulled off to look completely real. The atmosphere of the film is great, especially when the only light given to the audience is the light on the camera. The house that the camera navigates has plenty of turns, doors, and walls that create quite the illusion.
This is by no means a perfect movie. However, it's much better than many poor exorcism films that attempted to rip off of the success of The Exorcist. This is a film that concentrates more on its characters and the story than just jump scares and shock value. The trailer doesn't give the film justice as the story twists and turns throughout into a completely different feel and situation. Even with the flaws it has, this film deserves the 4 stars for the tremendous acting, good pacing, and the changes it makes to the story throughout the film to keep the viewer guessing. The Last Exorcism will be released theatrically August 27th and is definitely worth going to the theater to see.