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If The Last Exorcism Was Real – How Terrified Would You Be?

The Last Exorcism Nell

As the premier of The Last Exorcism Part II looms ever closer, its influence on culture is becoming ever more prevalent. The most recent incarnation of this occurred when a set of unsuspecting beauty parlour customers were confronted with the face of an Ashley Bell (the actress who plays the possessed young woman, Nell, in the original film and the upcoming sequel)  look alike in their mirrors as part of an elaborate prank that references the film. Most customers definitely had jump scares and emitted small yelps, but managed to remain mostly calm as the image bounced from mirror to mirror during their haircuts. It was more funny than scary at this point until the final moments of prank when the girl behind the faux demonic face strolled into the salon in an Exorcist-like backbend. This served as the final straw, the horror became too much and the customers scream and quickly scatter at the sight of the actress’s contorted body (which is fairly terrifying at first glance). Definitely a disturbing and interesting move on the part of the pranksters, because who wouldn’t be freaked out by that?

Various exorcism films play on the idea of body horror, more specifically unnatural human movements that trigger a primal fear deep within ourselves. When you consider that it’s just a young girl walking around with her back bent from a rational perspective, it doesn’t sound that scary, but our brains are so well programmed that when something defies what we expect to see and seems unnatural to our eyes, we automatically fear and reject this. Whether it’s The Exorcist, The Last Exorcism or even Mama (check out our review here) – unnatural human movement is a very popular and effective way of creating fear and uncertainty in your audience.

Along similar lines Bell did her own physical contortions throughout the films and even fractured a part of her back in the pursuit of crafting the perfect chilling scare for the sequel, which involves an impressive levitation sequence, as teased by the trailer. In fact, one of the film’s selling points was its rejection of CGI  to create the possession and exorcism scenes in favour of utilizing Bell’s ability to alter her body and then add as necessary from there. This definitely has distinguished the film from others of its type and has inspired questions about how far Bell will go in the new movie, which premiers this Friday, March 1. Either way, the original film’s legacy continues.

How would you react if you were there? Would you run too? I know I would! Sound off if you’ve got a pair!

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