Thursday, October 31, 2013

My years in horror: 2010

It's Halloween night which means by the time you read these last four entries looking at the best horror movies from every year I've been alive, it will be November. Sorry about that.

By 2010, the found footage craze was well under way and the best of that year was one of these.

One of the reasons I love The Last Exorcism so much is because I wasn't sure it would be any good. The film stars ... no one. I mean, no one I'd ever heard of. Eli Roth was a producer and that's the only name attached to it. In some genres, this would be a problem. But think of all the great horror movies that had zero star power. Horror creates stars.

As far as the found footage goes, it's a bit more of a set up. We didn't just "find" this footage. Within the framework of the film, it was meant to be a documentary (placing it firmly in the Blair Witch camp). We follow a shyster preacher who gets involved in something real for the first time. Patrick Fabian, who plays Reverend Cotton Marcus (read your early U.S. history for the brilliance of that name), convinces us that he is the real deal: a 100 percent fake. The conceit of the film is truly brilliant if not entirely original. Yet the cast, even in the most stereotypical redneckedness, come of as genuine. Having unknown actors only reaffirms that aspect of the film. Because we don't these people from anything else, we more readily believe in their characters.

Sure things get a bit illogical and unruly toward the end and the final shot is just about as Blair Witch as it gets, but this movie stuck with me. It's a tough one to let go of and when it comes to horror, that counts.

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