UPDATED! What Will Your Priest Think About The Last Exorcism?


UPDATED! We just added an excerpt and link to Dread Central’s review of The Last Exorcism toward the bottom of this post.

Both horror websites Bloody Disgusting and Dread Central tracked down director-turned-producer Eli Roth at the world premiere of The Last Exorcism that was hosted by the Los Angeles Film Festival and Screamfest LA. It was held at the Ford Theatre in Hollywood, CA and other members of the movie’s crew besides Roth that were in attendance included director Daniel Stamm, producers Eric Newman and Marc Abraham, composer Nathan (True Blood) Barr and cast-members Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Tony Bentley, Irs Bahr, Louis Herthum and Caleb Landry Jones (pictured above). Roth spoke a bit about the PG-13 rating, how the “religious right” are going to react to the film, and keeping the film from being looked as an Exorcist clone or rip-off. We also posted a bit of Bloody Disgusting’s review of the film for you to peruse. You can read more of the interview and that after the jump.

Eli Roth’s response to BD and Dread Central about getting a PG-13 rating:

“…there’s that instant reaction that horror fans have, that whenever you see a PG-13 and you kind of sigh: ‘There’s not going to be any good stuff in it’…and it was kind of in the editing, I realized ‘…there’s not a lot of swears, it’s not really a gory film…’. It’s more freaky, psychological, more like Ring or The Grudge.

“I think the film hasn’t lost any of the teeth (the source material possessed), but the ratings board gave us a PG-13 and we accepted it. Let’s not forget Jaws is rated PG, which is considered by many one of the scariest films of all time, so it is possible, but we didn’t want to remake The Exorcist.”

Here’s Roth’s response to Dread Central’s question about how he thinks the “religious right” are going to react to the film:

““They are going to love it. I think the film presents both sides equally. If you are an atheist or if you believe in the devil, you’ll love it, and if you are devoutly religious, you’ll love it. I think it presents both sides very intelligently, and I think that’s one of the things that I loved about the script, that it wasn’t one-sided and that it does keep making you think. It’s a really interesting clash of scientific logic and religion coming together.”

And what he told Dread Central about the obvious comparisons that will be made between The Last Exorcism and The Exorcist?

“Anything The Exorcist does – the voice, the vomiting, the yellow eyes, we can’t do that. The Last Exorcism is a different movie, and I think Daniel has made a very compelling and different film, and one that will be a really fun and original addition to the canon of exorcism movies. I mean, with vampire films, look where it’s come from, from Dracula and then to Twilight and to True Blood. I mean, it’s never-ending. People love them. And I think for many years, people were so afraid to make an exorcism or possession movie because as The Exorcist is so prevalent in pop culture, how do you make it scarier? Well, you don’t, because you’ll never make it scarier, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be original and fun, and I felt the script was a really ingenious take on the material, in the way that Cloverfield was a really great take on a Godzilla movie.”

Here is an excerpt from Bloody Disgusting’s review of the film:

“I only recently discovered it was a ‘documentary’ type film, and the original title (Cotton) was deemed too vague, which I have to agree with because I didn’t even know it was about exorcism until the new title was announced…I really f-ing dug the flick…what I really liked about the film is that it kept the mystery of whether she was possessed or just mentally disturbed for an impressively long time. It’s the same thing I liked about Emily Rose, but the in your face approach of the “documentary” allows for more scares than that film had…I do have two quibbles with the film. For a ‘documentary’, it really doesn’t feel like one a lot of the time. Director Daniel Stramm sometimes cuts to angles that couldn’t possibly be achieved in real time with a single camera, and other times cuts to reactions that the character of the cameraman wouldn’t logically film…my other concern was the ending. I’m not going to spoil it, but it’s very abrupt, leaving at least one major character’s final moments completely obscured. A large number of characters seem to disappear into thin air as well, and it’s never quite clear what certain characters were trying to achieve…I don’t expect the film to be universally loved (you know, like every horror movie ever made). In fact I suspect I may be in the minority for liking it; a few of the other horror site folks I talked to afterward didn’t like it much. And I even agreed with some of their criticisms, but didn’t feel they hurt the movie for me. I think it works as a unique take on the possession/exorcism type film, and delivers a number of good scares, and surprisingly strong performances from characters you will come to care about…”

Here’s an excerpt from the Dread Central review of the film:

“The film’s suspense relies upon – as does The Last Exorcism’s thematic brethren The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, among others – the construct of “found footage,” and the fear of what may be lurking just out of frame as the camera bounces and careens and teases… the flick also takes an intelligent and unique approach to its subject matter, delivering a religious and socio-economically thoughtful film, and in doing so not only managed to immerse the audience in a believable universe but also to keep them off-kilter and guessing for the majority of the flick’s running time…the bottom line? Audiences should make a concerted effort to remain as in the dark as possible concerning all things The Last Exorcism until the film opens on August 27th…and while fans of classic horror cinema may find the flick’s final scene a tad too familiar, general audiences will most likely leave gasping.”

For more coverage of The Last Exorcism premiere, go to Bloody Disgusting and Dread Central. For more of the reviews, go here and here.

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