31 August 2010

The Last Exorcism

Directed by: Daniel Stamm
Written by: Huck Botko & Andrew Gurland
Full credits at IMDb

For 35 years, exorcism movies didn’t change. William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel, The Exorcist, and William Friedkin’s film adaptation two years later, established the subgenre's signature motifs. As Benjamin Strong notes in his L Magazine review of The Last Exorcism, there are “celibate priests…Catholics, absentee parents, and distracting subplots set in Africa and the Middle East.”

Slasher-movie victims deal with symbolic manifestations of evil; John Carpenter’s white-masked killer is called “The Boogeyman” as often as "Michael Myers". But the victims in exorcism movies battle literal soldiers of Satan, hell-demons who punish PYTs for their spiritual purity. You could read them as metaphors if you tried hard enough—is the demon’s name “Puberticus”?—but neither The Exorcist nor its sequel encourages you to do so. John Boorman’s follow-up, in fact, is explicit in its insistence that Ancient, Unadulterated Evil is real, whether modern peoples believe in it or not.

Keep reading "The Evolution of the Exorcism Movie" at The L Magazine

Watch the trailer:

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