Last Exorcism Delivers Surprising Thrills
Fake documentary actually clever, until the ending
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2010 5:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – It gives the tired Exorcist franchise yet one more turn, with a Blair Witch-style fake documentary premise to boot, but most critics think the Last Exorcism manages to be a decent summer flick (until the end).

  • Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle: "What looks like a late-summer throwaway is a nice surprise—only a complete meltdown by the writers in the last 10 minutes keeps this film from uninterrupted excellence."
  • Kyle Smith, New York Post: "The suspense is finely crafted."

  • Sean O'Connell, Washington Post: It's "vaguely familiar yet refreshingly original." As the drama settles in, "it becomes less the story of a possessed girl and more the tortured journey of a snake oil salesman forced by the hand of God to stare into his own murky soul."
  • Andrew O'Hehir, Salon: "While the characters, premise and decrepit Southern setting of the Last Exorcism remain compelling throughout, the pseudo-documentary premise is paper-thin at the outset and wears out long before Botko and Gurland's script lurches toward the dumbest and least plausible solution to the mystery."