Reverend Cotton Marcus was raised to be a preacher but after questioning his faith and admitting that exorcisms are frauds, agrees to let a documentary crew make a film about his life. When he is contacted by the Sweetzer family requesting an exorcism, he performs an exorcism on their daughter and showing the crew his tricks. However, there appears to be more to the Sweetzer family than meets the eye.
The film was shot as a documentary and I admit that I’m quite a fan of these hand-held/hidden footage films. Whilst the format works here, for some reason they felt the need to add music in post. This really cheapens the film and takes you out of it. If you’re going to choose a documentary format for your film, stick to it!
Aside from that, it was quite good. It was silly at times, but it was still entertaining. It did the usual ‘exorcism tricks’; is she really possessed or is she acting etc, but it had the unique spin of the preacher not even believing for a second that she was in fact possessed. The ending was not great, but I wasn’t really disappointed either. It does kind of feel like a completely different film though and the situations and dialogue felt a little forced (especially for the documentary format).
I found Nell, the possessed girl, a little annoying and a typical stereotype of a character that always ends up possessed (I guess they love the contrast), but the actress was fine, so it was believable enough. Cotton was pretty charismatic and likable, with a little more depth than the preacher characters normally get.
Overall, it was a very entertaining watch only brought down by a little silliness and the annoying use of music. Had it been true to the documentary feel, it would’ve worked a lot better.