‘The Last Exorcism’ Ending Explained

Published 5 years ago by , Updated September 3rd, 2010 at 9:09 am,

last exorcism ending spoilers The Last Exorcism Ending Explained

While we do have a  The Last Exorcism review where you can leave comments, we’ve set up this as a place where you can discuss the Last Exorcism ending and movie spoilers without concerns about ruining the movie for folks who haven’t seen it yet.

If you’re posting comments here, assume that anyone in the conversation has seen the movie – if you haven’t seen the movie, I would recommend you don’t read the comments here until you have. icon smile The Last Exorcism Ending Explained

So… the Last Exorcism ending that most everyone who reviews the movie is talking about – how DOES it end?

As mentioned in my review, what the filmmakers attempted to do was to NOT give the audience a definitive answer throughout the movie to the question of whether Nell was actually possessed or going through some severe psychological trauma. That “not knowing” kept the movie interesting – and watching the pseudo-exorcist preacher (named Cotton) start out thinking this was just a case of a mental problem but start to doubt himself as the film went on takes the audience along the same thought process.

At one point during the film we learn that Nell’s father had a falling out with the local town pastor, and that’s why he stopped taking his family to church (he’s also home schooling 15 year old Nell and her teenage brother). Cotton talks to the preacher, who says that it got pretty ugly between him and Nell’s father and that while he knows an excellent pyschologist, he doesn’t believe the father will listen to him.

Cotton talks them both into speaking with each other, and goes back to the house in the woods to perform (supposedly for real this team) another exorcism with the local preacher and his secretary present. Cotton leaves, thinking everything is finally settled, but it’s at this point he and the camera crew discover the boy they thought impregnated Nell is gay.

So at this point, within the last 10 minutes of the film, we’re fairly convinced that her problem stems from a combination of her mother’s recent death and the fact that she was recently raped but has suppressed any memory of it. At first Cotton believes Nell’s father raped her, and then the suspicion falls on the young man in town, but he’s not the guy. Cotton and crew turn around and head back to the house.

When they arrive they find satanic symbols painted all over the walls of the house and no one home – they head out in the dark towards a distant light and they can hear screaming in the distance. When they get there, they come upon what looks like a satanic ritual with a ton of people from town, Nell on her back apparently giving birth to a creature that is not altogether human (she didn’t look the least bit pregnant). It’s revealed that the leader of this occult group and the man who impregnated Nell is, you guessed it, the local town pastor.

The newborn creature is thrown screaming into the fire, which blazes into a huge fireball when this happens – Cotton, seeing all this, seems to try with all his might to regain his faith in God, raises a cross and heads towards the melee. The cameraman and the woman doing the interviewing for the documentary run off terrified into the woods – she is struck down and presumably killed and the cameraman keeps running. Eventually he is cut off by Nell’s brother who decapitates the cameraman, the camera falls to the ground, and the screen goes black.

Continue to find out whether Nell was possessed… or not.

« 1 2»

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


1 2 3 9

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. eh

  2. who cares movie was dumb and i can make a beter movie with stick figures

    • HAHAHHA YESS! that movie was terrible.
      everyone ran out of the theatre “i want my money back!” “THAT SUCKED!”

  3. I actually liked Patrick Fabian in the movie. He seemed really genuine. I’m apparently in the minority here, but whatever. I think the pacing was a bit off, but I liked when Nell picks up the camera…I thought that was pretty creapy.

    • Kev, I agree with you on both points.

      What did you think of that ridiculous ending?


  4. Was hoping somebody could tell us what happens at the end to ruin the film?

    I’m certanly never going to watch this film. ;-)

    • me either 790


      • regardless of what you thought os the movie, fomr someone who can’t spell most of his words correctly you’re in no position to be call this movie “dumb”

        but anyways dont trip because i also thought the movie was dumb.

  5. yeah i really want to know what happens (save me $10)

    • nothing… there ya go!

  6. I thought it was pretty silly, and seemed like they rushed it. It seemed like they were like “alright, we’ve gotta go, let’s film something really quick…ooh, and let’s do the whole ‘running through the woods’ thing, too.”
    It was cool the deaths matched up with the painting the girl made in the beginning, but I was left unfulfilled.

  7. yea wut happens at the end of the film,i usually like to hear about the film b4 i see it so that way i know if im wasting my money or not

  8. why does everyone hate the movie? yea i know the ending was dissapointing but other than that the movie was really good, people just go to get scared but thats not what horror movies are all about, they need an interesting story or else the movie will be pointless. its like a book, it needs a story to be good, not just about a girl whos possessed and goes crazy, and this movie did do it, and for those who want to know why the movie ended like that and why didnt we get any answers? uhh thats because its a documentary-style film, why are we suppose to get answers when its filmed like this, that would’ve made the movie actually worse

  9. I just saw the film and enjoyed it quite bit. The acting was great and the characters and setting felt very real. The main problem for me wasn’t the music added or how the footage came to light. That doesn’t matter to me because in the end we all know it’s bull and that it’s just a movie. My main concern was how it kept ramping up to something and then slamming on the breaks. The girl who is supposedly possessed would start acting crazy and then she’d be fine and everyone would go on their merry way. That just pissed me off. I felt that once it reached a certain point it should have gone balls to the wall. We got a hint of it at the end but it was too little, too late. I agree with you about the ending in that it was certainly cool and could set up a crazy sequel but that’s not good enough. I loved the last shot of the preacher that we see but I hated all the shaky cam b******* that came after that. Also, the one shot in the film I kept looking for, you know, the one from the poster above, it’s not in the movie. I hate when they do that! Overall: B-

  10. I’ve updated this article with a full description of the ending.

    BTW, stephen, other than the ending, I gave the film a fairly positive review.


  11. Lol, sounds better then I expected.

    It sounds very much like the church conspiracy in the film Silent Hill.

    • Haha! That’s exactly what I thought when I saw the whole satanic thing.

      For some reason, I just thought, “Did this just turn to Silent Hill? Where’s Harry?”

  12. Ok, so I just walked out of this movie. I liked how there were a lot of questions and how there wasn’t a lot of effects. It looked like something that really could have happened. I really was scared! The way they worked with the camera was perfect and their timing was crazy good!
    As for the ending, nooo idea. I walked out of the theater soo confused with a million different thoughts. But I think that is the point.
    I would like to know if the girl was actually possessed, if the church was in on it all, if it was all just to make the main guy believe in the devil, if the girl was alright at the end, and so on.
    But, all in all, it was good.

  13. spoiler alert they all die!!!!!!!!!!

  14. alexa, it sounds like indeed she was possessed by the demonic entity embodied in the preacher. When it was thrown into the fire I assume that was a symbolic sacrfice of her first born to satan.
    This kinda stuff happens all the time in backwater towns, and in some Beverly Hills mansions.

    There’s always a cabin in the woods when Eli’s invovled.

    • so, did all of those people actually believe in the devil? were they all in on it?
      sorry, but the ending made noooo sense to me lol.

      • made no sense to me either…i just want to know if she was posessed or was she just acting to lure the preacher in…no clue :)

  15. The ending actually sounds cool.
    Did you not like it because it seemed to ruin the overall flow of the movie?

  16. why did they kill the baby-devil, if they are worshipping for the return of satan?

    • They didn’t kill the baby-devil. Putting it into the fire was making it stronger. Did you watch how the fire grew? That was the baby growing…into something more demonic and powerful.

  17. Sounds like everyone thought the girl was acting but in reality the town was evil and into satan.
    I’ve seen this plotline before.

    • I was really disappointed in the ending. Gotta admit I was a little scared during the movie but the ending ruined it all. The ending was like a cross between “Rosemarys Baby” & “Blair Witch Project”. I left feeling cheated. I have to say because of the ending, I hated it. But that girl sure was creepy at points. Kind of like “Exorcism of Emily Rose” where they don’t look all demonic, but very creepy.

  18. I found I laughed a lot, and rolled my eyes a lot ……. so much so that I didn’t see that ending coming. I actually liked where it was going but i think they rushed it so the effect was lost. I actually enjoyed it. Go figure.

  19. How’s a possession film supposed to end?

    If I cared to watch this vile bs, I would have expected this kind of ending.

  20. tee hee

  21. Vic – thank you very much for the ‘spoiler’. Far from spoiling it for me, you’ve done me a favor by making me realize I should not waste my money on this film. As for the ending – I don’t know what angers me most about it: that it trashed a Christian minister or that it was a cheap, talentless cop-out which took absolutely no imagination whatsoever. Anyway, thank you so much for saving me the price of admission. I appreciate that.

  22. It reminded me of The Reaping, and now that someone mentioned it, Silent Hill. Now I just want the next Paranormal Activity to come out so I can see a real “scary movie”.

  23. I believe that the baby was the anti-christ, all of the townspeople were satan worshipers exept the dad, then i remembered when the girls brother told the reverend to go back the way he came, because he did not want the demon to be exercised, and how they had the father tied up and how the town was talking bad about him the whole movie showed that they were against him because he worships god, not the devil, i also think that when the flames were growing in the fire that was the devil coming, then i was going to be kickass when the reverend was rushig toward it with the cross, but then the camera man turned tail and bolded into the woods, getting his juggular slice by the girls brother, weak ending, so anti climactic

  24. ok can someone tell me what the ending was about? Was the girl posessed or not? At first i believed it but then i see her brother at the end killing that guy and it just threw me off…Was the family just a satanic family? and she wasn’t at all posessed or what? Please explain :)

  25. Awesome movie. Quit bitchin

  26. Hey Vic just manage to end up here reading your review and such, i just recently finished watching the movie about an hour ago and i wanted to ask something that has me puzzled.

    The part inside the barn were he is going to perform a “real” exorcism to nell, did she really get possess? or was she just being crazy? and another thing when things seem already to calm down and they have her back in her bed and ect was that really herself?

  27. I thought it was great….the ending as i read it and thought of it more when i got home…yeah it kinda sucked but it wasn’t a bad ending…people are pissed because they are so use to the closure in the movie…oh the good wins and evil loses but in all honesty that is not how life is folks…
    if you analyze it more the ending made perfect sense in away…to think about the end you have to watch it from the beginning from the testimonies of the towns people and the art work she drew

    i give it an A minus

  28. Emina …….. my take is that she was possessed, and pregnant with the Devils spawn. As her father was tied to a tree i don’t think that he was in on it ….. just the preacher and some others from their town. She gave birth and they sacrificed the ‘baby’ we’ll call it that, .. to……..we’ll assume the Devil. Then the pastor (the one the documentary was about) I guess got filled with the holy spirit and instead of leaving like any sane person would, tried and save the girl with his trick cross….. than all hell broke loose! :) – I assume he died, the camera girl died, and the camera man died. The end.

    • Hello, i just got done with watching this moive…Its one f those movies, yea its good, but not good enough to go see in theaters.. heres my take on the movie… Cotton, is a precher, whos been preching all of his life..But now, he starts doubting him self, he wonders if there is even a god! So his family is low on money, and there son has hearing problems and they need to buy hearing aids ever so often for him. He does exorcisms on the side, he believes that they are not real. He doesnt believe in demons. But he “fakes” it everytime he does one. He also read in the paper that a boy died from a exorcism. So he decides that this one will be his last! he goes to town and runs in to a boy named calab, he asks where the house is he tells him to go home and the refuse and drive along, so he throws somthing at the car. who knows what lol. they get to the house thats when we find out that calab is the son of the father of who they are exorcing his daughter. Her named was i believe nell, i could be wrong but anyways, so cotton goes through his rotine faking the exorcism and its all going great! they do it the father pays him and there off to a hotel fo the night! they get to the hotel…and what do you know it Nell the girl is standing looking at cotton while he sleeps. this movie leans more that exorcisms are real! but anyways how did she no what hotel they were going to, howed she get in? so they call the father he doesnt pick up they bring her to a hospital and they say everything is fine! well the father picks her up and brings her back home. the “crew goes with them.” now doing the hospital vist they didnt find anything wrong with her…so youd think that theyd know that she was pregante right? wrong they didnt say anything about it! we find that out by missed phone calls at her house. so cotton believes her dad is raping her or her brother calab. so the dad sees that the exorcism didnt work and as cotton said the only way to get ride of this certain demon was to exorcist it or to kill the host. so the father is most likly gonna kill her if cotton doesnt give her another one. he agrees to do. ther in the barn and shes starting to show her demon. starts cracking her neck and all the other demon stuff you know! she starts speaking latin, saying that she is the demon that cotton said she was. then she says you want me to blowey you?? lol thats when cottons like okay ur not possessed your faking. so they go up in her room she explains how she had sex with A logan and how she is pregant. story over right? WRONG! they drive off they go to where he works finds out that hes gay and returns to the hosue to find that theres a big cult in his back yard. everyone pretty much dies the end! now let me explain my thoughts on the film weather she was possessed or not. facts saying she was…….. after the fairst exorcism everything went fine and they left. they went to a hotel, they didnt tell the father, son or nell what hotel or where it was..somehow nell ends up there knowing what room it was, knowing where it is. standing in front of cotton..tht=ats one… 2 is she goes to the docs and they dont find anything wrong with her, but something clearly is wrong, shes possessed and shes having a baby. how they didnt know she was having one who knows. 3 her cutting her brothers face with a knife. 4 during the last exorcism that cotton purforms she starts sayuing something in latin, nell didnt know latin! 5 the demon form doing the last exorcism that he performs knows that cotton doesnt believe i n deomons, and says do you believe in me now! howed she know that if she wasnt possessed? 6 her crakcing her neck and back in postions that would kill you other wise. 7 her talking and now matching up with her lips on the barn. 8 when shes explaining how her and logan had sex shes talking in 3rd person! 9 making up that story just to get rid of cotton and his crew. 10 her drawing pics of how cotton and his 2 crew members were going to die before they did. 11 shes has a baby that most certainly does not look normal, it has freaking horns lol! 12 when the baby is thrown in the fire a huge fire thing comes up! so thats why i think shes deff possessed! but heres the backround info i think….cotton stoped going to that church because he believed that they were a cult, he was right. and there son calab was apart of it. nell knew so she cut him. the end i believe what happens happens except for cotton i think they want you to ask yourself… since he doubted himself believeing in god, whould god help him in his time of need or will god turn his back because he didnt believe for a bit! thats for you to answer not me! i believe he did help him but hey thats just me! oh for how she got pregnat, the demon did it. cotton read from that one book how it could do all sorts of things like that! over all it was okay, i would see it again but not buying the dvd or anything ha! i wish we could of known more at the ending…. so what do you think? is she possessed or not? and about the ending!

  29. She had to be possessed bc if u rem the drawings she did how would she now the camera man was gonna get his head cut off and the women was gonna get chopped up and the priest was going to burn? also the one picture alone she drew of cotton running into flames with the cross held into the air. I think she was possessed at times but the demon inside her was really sneaky like cotton described it and tricked us all at times in thinking tht nell was normal

1 2 3 9