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I had my doubts.
This is another mockumentary film shot with a hand held camera. This made me worry. Ever since The Blair Witch Project, the film industry has been flooded with these things. Already I was going into this movie with biased eyes.
The story is all about this evangelical southern preacher named Cotton Marcus who is being followed by this film crew. All Cotton's life has been about the church. His father is preacher and he was groomed at a very young age to start his ministries. As a boy, he started to perform exorcisms. He continued until the day he heard of an autistic boy that was killed during a so called "exorcism". He questioned his faith and now he is out with this film crew to perform his last exorcism.
Enter in the Sweetzer family. A very normal family from a small southern town. A widower raising his two teen age children the best way he can.
Too bad his daughter is possessed by a demon.
Now this is where I started thinking "Oh geez, it's The Exorcism of Emily Rose all over again." Boy howdy, was I wrong. Cotton is played fantastically by Patrick Fabian. You really like his character. You know it's almost reprehensible that he is a fraud but you know he's doing it for the well being of these "possessed" people. You can tell that he just wants to help bring peace to this family without doing anymore damage.
Let's talk about Nell. Played flawlessly by Ashley Bell, Nell is a naive girl with home school ideas and a sweet charm. She misses her mom and loves Jesus. But there is a scene that struck me so hard, that I literally had to stop this movie, take a breath, and revel in her performance. She makes eye contact with the camera and you can feel it coming off of the screen. The pain and, what I can only call, evil, for lack of a better word, is so intense.
That scene alone is worth seeing this movie for.