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Patrick Fabian

Hell Is Other People: The Stylishly Unsettling 'Last Exorcism'

Comparisons to The Blair Witch Project (1999) and last year’s Paranormal Activity are the inescapable fate of Daniel Stamm’s The Last Exorcism, if only because all three movies employ a similar ruse: they are scary stories masquerading as vérité snuff. And there’s nothing scarier than the idea, fueled by a bogus Internet rumor, that the bogeyman this time is real.
Exorcism seems in one way less gimmick-driven than the others, since it doesn’t arrive on the heels of a viral campaign touting its authenticity. Yet it comes across as the genuine article – we’re not fooled, exactly, but we are willing to believe. The story earns credibility.

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