04th Jan2021

‘The Last Exorcist’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Danny Trejo, Rachele Brooke Smith, Terri Ivens, Nicolas Coster, Leah Ann Cevoli, Branden Smith, Adam Horner, Melanie Brooke Sweeney, Dennis LaValle | Written by Robin Bain, Amy Brown Carver, Lizzie Gordon | Directed by Robin Bain

I have watched too many Danny Trejo movies to know that just by having his name on the poster and physical media artwork does not guarantee a good movie. Of course, he’s been in some movies I absolutely love but his name is often used when he features for little more than seconds in a movie and I thought that would probably be the case with The Last Exorcist.

I wasn’t far wrong, to be honest but Danny Trejo’s role here could be called a little bit more than a cameo. In The Last Exorcist, we follow two sisters who have had a difficult upbringing and have neither of their parents still with them. Bought up in part by a priest, they have been involved with exorcisms their entire lives and now it’s their time to really face the demons.

The main problem here is that the script is just so full of clichés. Whether it be the characters or the dialogue, everything feels very obvious and wholly unoriginal. One sister is an alcoholic and not dealing with life, you’ll have seen the character a thousand times before, while the younger one has her own problems but is too busy helping her sibling. But they’ll get through it together! Or something like that, it is hard to care about these characters. In fairness, Rachele Brooke Smith, who plays Jo, the younger sister, does okay in the role. She is constantly fighting with a poor script and much over-acting by the people around her but she does bring some believability to the role. She’s far from perfect but she’s a step above almost everyone else in the movie.

As I said previously, Trejo has little more than a cameo and he’s fine, as you’d expect. He’s not given much to work with but as always he does have a certain presence when on screen.

There are some ridiculous and bemusing parts of the story. Why a rape scene needed to be included is anyone’s guess (it didn’t is the actual answer), thankfully its a few seconds long. And why a priest thought it was a wise move to continuously take a young girl with him to dangerous exorcisms is never really explained (‘it was all part of the plan’ I’m sure).

While there’s some effort put into a few of the make-up effects, everything else screams low-budget horror movie – especially the score – and even the Danny Trejo cameo, which I’m sure is there to put eyes on the movie, actually makes me think it’s a desperate attempt to make people watch something that has not much else going for it. Exorcism films are rarely originally but this one isn’t entertaining either.

The Last Exorcist is out now.


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