Expectations are a fickle thing. If a film exceeds someone's low expectations, it can be a halo effect. If it fails to meet one's expectations, they can muddy the entire film. I bring this up not to subvert anyone's expectations for how good The Last Exorcism is quality wise (though I do think it is damn good), but because I want to usurp any expectations regarding the film's documentary style.

I think most people, and for valid marketing reasons, are expecting The Last Exorcism to be just another entry in the recent swell of "found footage" horror movies. It is not. At all. Director Daniel Stamm's documentary approach is not capitalizing on any trends, it's not trying to convince the audience that it's fact. It's used expertly as a means of lowering the fourth wall, of delivering a frightening story and experience that would not be matched in any other style.

Cinematical was recently given a chance to talk to Stamm and producer Eli Roth about the film and while I had a ton of questions to ask the duo, most of our time went straight to talking about the film's mindset. It's something that can't be prepackaged in a trailer or TV spot. The Last Exorcism is flat out not your typical horror movie. And I can't think of a better embodiment of that than how we spent several minutes of our all-too-brief time together chatting about a character's shoes. That is not a topic of conversation people are going to expect from a movie whose predominant marketing component is the name Eli Roth-- and that's just one of many, many reasons I think The Last Exorcism is going to blindside (in a brilliant way) a lot of people when it opens on August 27th.
categories Interviews, Cinematical