HORROR; 1hr 30min
STARRING: Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Louis Herthum
Trick or treat: Fabian and Bell
The Reverend Cotton Marcus (Fabian) is the gabby breed of guy who would clean up on the speaking circuit. He’s a handsome, honeyed talker and in this faux documentary from director Daniel Stamm, Cotton is done with the persuasive ease and circus trickery that has enabled him to perform 25 years of lip-service exorcisms. So off to Louisiana he and a film crew go to expose Cotton’s preachy spruiking for the sham it is. Except that this final time, Cotton is confronted by what could well be Satan himself.
Taciturn farmer Louis Sweetzer (Herthum) is certain his openhearted 16-year-old daughter, Nell (Bell), is possessed. Cotton is initially cynical, of course, but as his involvement with the haunted girl grows progressively freakier, he is dwarfed by the inexplicable. Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko’s screenplay descends into all-hell with such measured steps that for a time you could be fooled into thinking that devilry may not be lurking. And when Nell’s demon hits its stride and Cotton digs deeper than he has in years, you’ll be flat out praying it isn’t.