The Last Exorcism made me nauseous. To be fair, I was already feeling more than a little "off" before I made it to the cinema, but seriously, this shaky cam faux-doc style really needs to stop. The real horror of this film involves the cinematography choices.
Exorcism is a smart film and the documentary conceit is used much better here than most everywhere else. I still feel strongly that it's a completely unnecessary gimmick that adds little to the film. You can keep the basic story idea that this is a documentary situation without pretending that this is the doc footage.
Anyhow, that is just a pet peeve of mine. Like flashbacks that refer to images earlier in the same film. Gag me with a hand grenade.
The questions of faith explored in this film are really what make the film interesting and definitely worth watching. As a homeschooling Christian father who lives out in the country (but I don't own a gun! Yet!), I am of course keenly interested in a film that portrays a homeschooling Christian father and his possibly demonically possessed 16-year-old daughter. And more than that, the film is primarily about a Pastor who has lost his faith. This isn't Bergman's Silence trilogy by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not too far removed thematically from those films either.
I can't discuss any of this any further without major spoilers. So, that's the end of this post!
If you do see the movie soon, check out the discussion on the BGG guild (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/559129/the-last-exorcism). I mostly agree with Kevin's reaction, but also enjoyed those final moments much more than he did and feel that they may possibly strengthen everything that comes before rather than cheapen it as he argues. But, again, I'm entering major spoiler territory.
Besides Exorcism, I've seen Grown Ups (mercifully, I was paid to see this) and Repo Men. I can't fault Sandler for taking his friends on vacation at a beautiful lakeside area and churning out a serviceable crowd-pleaser like this to pay the bills. I was cringing throughout almost the entire film, but the audience around me laughed a lot. I'd rather sit through Jonah Hex a few more times than think about this painfully unfunny film and what it means about our culture that so many people found this film so funny. I shake my head at it all.
Repo Men is a disappointment if only because the premise is so great and because a couple of talented actors are wasted on this material. It's not bad at all, though, and the final reveal made me smile big instead of groan. The whole romantic relationship plot is silly at best and it culminates in a scene which is absolutely ridiculous. I was on the brink of hating the film until the following scene. Then, a stupid smile on my face. Repo Men is not at all great, but it's better than most other average (and brainless) SF films that get released each year.
I forgot to mention above that your Hostel post was published in the morning while I was at the cinema. What's the connection? Roth is one of the producers of Last Exorcism. Gee golly.