Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Exorcisms, Monkeys, Podcasts and the Devil...

I'd heard really bad things about The Last Exorcism but I watched it the other night and have to say I really enjoyed it. The story is about an evangelical preacher who makes some extra money on the side performing faked exorcisms. He decides to quit when he loses his faith and takes a film crew along on his last job with the aim of debunking the whole practice. Only this time he may have come across a genuine case of demonic possession. Which is an awesome setup.

What makes it work so well is that the filmmakers (and the actor Patrick Fabian) do a great job setting up the lead character, particularly on the subject of him losing his faith. The typical and over-used way to do this is to have some tragedy occur that makes the preacher character question God etc. But in this film, he loses his faith when doctors save his son's life and realises he's thanking them rather than God. He questions his faith because of a miracle. This adds a level of complexity to the character you wouldn't otherwise have and I think it's a stroke of genius on the part of the writers.

Once you set up a character like that then if you've got an actor strong enough to carry it off the audience will go with you no matter how absurd it gets. At least I did. I know a lot of people had problems with the ending but I thought it was okay in a Race with the Devil kind of way.

And speaking of the Devil (how many times do you get to say that literally?) I recently came across this while googling projects I'd worked on ages ago on the off chance one of them has miraculously been finished (something I do on a pathetically regular basis)...

This was a student project I wrote something for last year; a portmanteau film about the Devil in Dublin called The Satan Project. I'm looking forward to seeing it finished (and this will make me sound like a dick) because it was a really good script. I just read it again to make sure and I'm still really happy with it, especially considering I wrote it in one evening. At the moment I have no idea whether they stuck to the script or whether they managed to pull off the ridiculously challenging special effect I'd made central to the story, but let's hope so. It was about a freak show, as a lot of my things are, and I think that part with the people on stage near the end is from my story. Hopefully there will be more to report in the not-too-distant future.

In other news I was on a podcast this week! The Filmsploitation podcast is run by Phil Hobden who produced Ten Dead Men what I wrote and also features Richard Blanchette who used to co-host the AMR Movie Show. It's been a while since I did anything like this so I may well be terrible on it, but there are some good rants about 3D and remakes, and I had a go at explaining why everyone needs to see Dellamorte Dellamore right now (Answer: Because it's an existential art-horror film with the best ending ever and Rupert Everett is super-cool in it). I'm on Episode 4.

Finally, what are you doing on Halloween? If you're in Brighton you are presumably coming to Halloween MovieBar. Because that way you'll get to see what this is all about:

It is very important that you know why this monkey has a gun. It may well save your life one day. All will be revealed at Halloween MovieBar.


iZombie said...

HBA Welcome Wagon...
Wanted to let you know, you part of the Alliance.
Please stop by and check to make sure your link is correct.
Remember to say Thank You and visit the other HBA Members.

Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
Visit The Madness:
HBA Staff

Chris Regan said...

Awesome! Thanks very much!!