The Mad Aardvark

Critical commentary on culture…

No special effects… except, you know, for those special effects…

Posted by madaardvark on August 26, 2010

I just read an article on Yahoo! Movies about “The Last Exorcism” and the special effects they used, or lack thereof.

I think we’re getting jaded.  Or stupider.

Do people not realize that special effects do not have to involve CGI or explosions?  Here is an excerpt from the article:

This week’s horror movie release “The Last Exorcism” has been garnering much attention with a shot just as impressive as anything from a big-budget blockbuster. The trailer ends with the image of a young woman in a nightgown and boots bent over backwards at an impossible angle. It’s so memorable and unsettling that the studio used it for the movie’s poster. What makes it impressive, though, is that it does not use any special effects. No CGI, no puppets. That shot is actress Ashley Bell bending like that for real.

Now, that sounds pretty amazing.  I was impressed.  Then they say this later in the article:

She joked, “[Director Daniel Stamm] nailed my boots down, pushed me over and yelled, ‘Action!'”

Okay, right there.  When is nailing someone’s feet to the floor (special actions) to produce a specific effect NOT a special effect?  It doesn’t take away from the girl’s dedication to the role or her flexibility, but don’t lie to us about a lack of special effects.

Here’s another quote from the same article:

Producer Eli Roth (“Hostel”) says the goal of the film was to make everything happening on screen look as real as possible, and Bell made that happen: “What you see is one-hundred percent Ashley Bell — we did not use any makeup, CGI, or special effects in her scenes.”

When do actors NOT wear makeup during filming?  No CGI? Okay.  No special effects? Aside from nailing her feet to the floor or some other camera tricks that don’t qualify as ‘special’ for some reason, fine.  But no makeup?  There’s ALWAYS makeup.

And here is one more:

Patrick Fabian, who plays the exorcist, Reverend Cotton Marcus, confirmed that Bell’s performance was just as chilling to watch on the set as it is in the movie. He said, “Ashley would be turning her neck or slithering on the floor and a voice would come out and it just creeped us out. There was no acting involved in there.”

No acting? So you mean she was REALLY POSSESSED?!  Holy SHIT, I have to see this movie…

People, curb your hyperbole.  You’re not making any sense any more.

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