Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. It's scary fun and packed with comic bits that skate between sad and absurd like the best of reality TV.
  2. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    80
    The method is well-worn and the subject-matter familiar, but this is a smart, scary little picture.
  3. 78
    The shock ending isn't all that shocking if you're a fan of genre films, but it's nonetheless effective despite the fact that it sidesteps several key questions. Never mind: It's hellishly fun.
  4. 75
    For a movie made from spare parts - take "The Exorcist" and attach to "The Blair Witch Project" and "Paranormal Activity" - The Last Exorcism delivers the heebie-jeebie goods.
  5. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    75
    A superbly creepy story.
  6. Satan is optional in The Last Exorcism. This is the rare horror film that would have been entertaining even if nothing scary happened.
  7. Reviewed by: Sean O\\\\\\\'Connell
    75
    Stamm creates an anxious psychological horror that's vaguely familiar yet refreshingly original.
  8. A creepy, smartly written and very entertaining low-budget chiller.
  9. Directed by someone you've never heard of and starring actors you won't be able to place, there's only one reason for a movie such as the locally shot Last Exorcism to exist: to scare the bejeezus out of you.
  10. For a while, The Last Exorcism shrewdly exploits our voyeurism, as it sustains the teasing question of whether there's actually anything supernatural going on. The payoff, however, isn't scary enough.
  11. I cared enough about these characters to follow "Exorcism" to tense and occasionally goofy places, even if the setup proved a bit stronger than the payoff.
  12. 75
    Aided by strong performances from Bell and Fabian, Stamm deftly plays with the boundary of fact and fiction, though his game might have worked better with a little more grounding in verisimilitude.
  13. The Last Exorcism is a good movie that could have been - SHOULD have been - a great one.
  14. 70
    With a small, well-chosen cast, sly script, and slippery, ambivalent characters, The Last Exorcism gives a welcome titty-twist to the demonic-possession movie revival.
  15. As with many well-intentioned scare flicks, the wrapping-up feels dissipated and obvious, but for a good while The Last Exorcism makes for an atmospheric, character-rich stab at movie fright.
  16. An unusually restrained and genuinely eerie little movie perched at the intersection of faith, folklore and female puberty.
  17. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    70
    Cotton is that rarity in the horror genre: a genuinely intriguing character.
  18. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    70
    The Last Exorcism makes first-rate use of religious doubt and religious extremism to concoct a novel horror-thriller clever enough to seduce unbelievers while satisfying the bloodlust of its congregation/fanbase.
  19. The rural atmosphere is well wrought and so is the depiction of phony evangelism – but it all devolves into the usual heebie-jeebies by the end.
  20. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    65
    Manages to be scary without resorting to cheap special effects or gore. It's not as good as it could have been, but it's so much better than expected.
  21. 63
    One of the pleasures of films about being stuck in a place -- "The Wicker Man" is maybe the best example -- comes from the skill with which the writers keep their protagonist locked in his box. On this test, The Last Exorcism pretty much flunks.
  22. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    This supernatural yarn is thoroughly engrossing until it loses its way about three-quarters in. It's as if the filmmakers didn't know how to resolve the mayhem, opting for silly over diabolical.
  23. 63
    The Last Exorcism is one of those rare films where the marketing campaign is more interesting than the film it publicizes.
  24. A smart horror film will fatten its pigs before the slaughter, and the mock doc The Last Exorcism feeds its prize hog nicely.
  25. A backwoods psychological thriller delivered faux-documentary-style, with mixed results.
  26. 50
    The more hellish the story gets, the sillier and less involving the movie becomes.
  27. Reviewed by: Jesse Singal
    50
    There may once have been a good and a bad film fighting for the soul of The Last Exorcism, but in its final moments, cinema's dark forces triumph emphatically.
  28. 50
    Its grisly violence and ridicule-religion tone make it sort of the anti-"Exorcism of Emily Rose."
  29. 50
    So some good acting and decent scares get entombed within too many dull postmodern iterations.
  30. Reviewed by: Noah Berlatsky
    50
    Patrick Fabian is charming as Marcus, and director Daniel Stamm delivers a series of surefooted scares as the staged possession turns real. But the movie is still unsatisfying; in its eagerness to deliver familiar genre pleasures, it somehow misplaces its soul.
  31. The Last Exorcism trods on previously stomped ground and has almost no good jump-outta-your-seat moments.
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 153 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 54
  2. Negative: 15 out of 54
  1. Aug 29, 2012
    3
    Why is it that every movie trying to be a mockumentary thinks editing between 2 or 3 shots is possible with just one camera? Not to mention that the person filming feels compelled to stay focused on the scene regardless of their own safety. Pretty silly stuff and takes me right out of the action. Full Review »
  2. Oct 5, 2011
    7
    I didn't have much high expectations for the film, maybe expecting a "Paranormal Activity"+devil spoof. After a realistically shocking 87 minutes, I knew from the bottom of the heart that I was wrong. Full Review »
  3. Aug 30, 2010
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. The professional critics truly missed the boat on this one. I was under the impression that it would be part Blair Witch, part Paranormal Activity, but a more intelligent version of both. Hardly. It's definitely creepy at times, but the rural house thing was done MUCH better in Texas Chainsaw, and the possessed girl was done better in hundreds of other movies. The finale feels absolutely tacked on. Preposterous, silly, and just not scary in the least. I actually got a little annoyed when I got to the theater and saw the film is rated PG-13. Seriously?? How can a first-rate, non-Hitchcock horror film be rated PG-13? I guess the mutilation of animals, the birth of some mutant baby, and the eventual decapitation of a lead character aren't worthy of the "mature themes" moniker. If that's so, how the hell do you then give Orgazmo an NC-17??? Be that as it may, this sucker is simply not worth the money. Doesn't hold a candle to Paranormal Activity. Or Blair Witch. Do not bother. Full Review »