THE LAST EXORCIST ** USA 2020 Dir: Robin Bain. 79 mins
This is the story of 2 sisters orphaned at a young age and brought up by the priest that saved them. Father Peter (Dennis LaValle) was in the process of exorcising their mother when she killed her husband and then herself. The Father felt he had to take the children under his care as they were at risk of demon possession. Fast forward a decade or so and Josephine (Rachele Brooke Smith) is as devoted to the church as the people that raised her and remains at the church as a janitor. Whereas older sister Madeline (Terri Ivens) is constantly drunk and working at a seedy Country music bar. They are both very close and are devastated when they hear of the untimely death of Father Peter under suspicious circumstances. Visited by a former priest, Marco, (none other than Danny Trejo) who warns them of coming misfortune. It is not long before Jo has to call on Marco to help her save her sister and find her true calling.
One thing you are hit by straight away with this is that it is has so much going on crammed into a 79 minute run time, it is actually quite hard to follow. It tries to incorporate some dream/hallucination sequences that you really don’t know where the reality starts and the dreams end. Plus because everything is quite rushed its very difficult to get where some of the characters are coming from. I have to admit to being baffled yet enthralled by Terri Ivens random crazy outbursts but by the end of the movie she had become a true pro at it. The inclusion of a mysterious but evil stranger in Adam Horner who pops in and out at various times is also a bit disorientating. With all this going on you would think it was pretty entertaining but unfortunately not. It feels stunted, disjointed and just a bit confusing. Even the appearance of Danny Trejo does nothing to enhance this and I can only imagine in his endless list of movies this one does possibly not even register to him. There is a distinct lack of special effects save for some very chunky pea soup vomit and a few people with 666 carved into them. Opting for more off screen blood letting, surprise levitation and some awkward sex scenes instead… strange choices. The soundtrack includes some Metal tracks, which I thought sounded very promising, from a band called Ancient Spell. The track “Crucified” over the end credits I particularly enjoyed, so I did what anyone would do and check out the other track featured which is called “Wrath Ov Godz” spelt exactly like that which instantly put me off. I must be a complete snob to be put out by track spelling but come on… is it still 2001, further still was it cool to do that even then!??! Ignoring my snobbery of this, the soundtrack is probably the best thing about it.
If you like dodgy acting with a lot of shouting, screaming, praying and a bit of demonism then this is for you, everyone else might just want to pass on this one.
Review by Sarah Budd