Well, Eli Roth is horrible behind the camera. Inglourious Basterds proved that if he does anything with film, he should be acting. After all, with films like Cabin Fever and the Hostel movies under his belt, it’s a surprise that he has any fans of his movies. They just seem like something people would watch and possibly buy as examples of what not to do when making a film. Well, now he’s producing an exorcism movie.
OK, oddly enough, the movie doesn’t look bad. Then again, one of the problems with movies that had Eli Roth working behind the scenes is the fact that they show off entirely too much in the trailers. It’s strange but, in terms of horror, the best horror movies follow the “less is more” sentiment. Even in terms of some of the most graphic, visually bizarre movies out there like John Carpenter’s The Thing. The sentiment not only covers the trailers, but also the movies.
So what’s the problem with The Last Exorcism. Exorcism movies are a hard sell with showing less. However, it’s not impossible. It just seems like the best things about the movie are all in the trailer. Well, there are other issues. Again, there are problems with exorcism movies. It’s hard to not make them seem like The Exorcist. So the problem with The Last Exorcism is that it seems to be going out of its way to be a remake that’s trying to say it’s not being remake. It’s The Exorcist set in a rural area. Pretty much the only question about this movie is whether or not the priest lives. It could take a turn for The Exorcist and kill the priest. It could take a turn for The Exorcism of Emily Rose and kill the girl. It could do something new and kill everyone in the area, but if it does that without rhyme or reason it would fail horribly.
There is also a huge problem with trailer of The Last Exorcism. It just feels like they’re telling entirely too much of the story. Still, for the sake of reviewing, I’ll probably end up seeing it. Then again, I already feel like I’ve seen the movie even though I’ve only watched the preview. It looks like it could be good, but what’s the point if you feel like you’ve already seen it before it’s even been released?
Roth and anyone who works with Roth should realize that good horror is surrounded in mystery. You can give clues to what a movie is about, but the best movies keep the majority of visuals tied to potentially massive plot points out. After all, you want to make an audience interested in seeing the movie. You don’t want the audience to feel as though they’ve already watched the movie before putting money down on it. Sure, if it’s a remake, it’s next to impossible to avoid that unless you’re doing a re-envisioning. However, if it’s an original work, it would be easy to keep mystery while grabbing people’s attention with the trailer. This is especially true for the psycho-spiritual horror thrillers.