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15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Last Exorcism

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Savor every jump and scream a little more after knowing this 15 little-known facts about Daniel Stamm’s found footage frightfest.

1. The film’s evil demon is a henchman from Christian demon lore.

Abalam, the demon said to possess Nell in The Last Exorcism, is a minor figure from a Christian demonology text called The Lesser Key of Solomon. He is said to be the right-hand man (or demon, in this case) to a more powerful demon named Paimon. Most of the details about him were fictionalized in the film.


2. Director Daniel Stamm was chosen to head The Last Exorcism because of his film school thesis.

Stamm’s first film and AFI thesis, A Necessary Death, uses a similar found footage technique to tell the story of a filmmaker looking to document a suicidal individual for his own film school thesis.


3. The Last Exorcism was originally supposed to be co-directed by co-writers Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland.

The pair had to drop out because they were contractually obligated to write and direct a comedy called The Virginity Hit at the same time.


4. The film was originally titled Cotton after one of the main characters, Cotton Marcus.

The filmmakers decided to change the title to The Last Exorcism because they thought Cotton was too ambiguous and could confuse audiences.


5. Ashley Bell was the second actress to read for the role of Nell.

She got the part after she improvised an exorcism during her audition.


6. Patrick Fabian memorized an 8-minute sermon for his Cotton Marcus audition.

The filmmakers incorporated parts of the sermon in the final film.


7. The studio used Chatroulette to market the film.

Visitors to the webcam-based chat site were given a shock when, in a video planted by the studio, a woman unbuttoning her blouse transformed into a demon.


8. The filmmakers originally wanted to add fake credits to the end of their faux-documentary to make it seem like someone simply edited the found footage.

The idea was scrapped due to various credit stipulations from producers, actors, and directors guilds in Hollywood.

9. Nell’s Doc Martens weren’t in the script.

Nell was originally supposed to be barefoot throughout the entire movie, but the film’s insurance company wouldn’t put up the money to insure her feet, so the filmmakers gave her the boots instead.


10. Nell’s contorted back-bend (an image which ended up on the film’s theatrical poster) was not a CGI effect.

And it was added at the last minute. Director Daniel Stamm asked Ashley Bell what she could add to the scene to make it creepier and she showed him the flexible move, so he put it in the movie.


11. In fact, the film is almost entirely CGI-free.

CGI was only used to slightly enhance the bonfire at the end of the movie.


12. Nell’s vomit is made from a mixture of Gatorade, oatmeal, and Cheez-Its.

It was originally supposed to include chicken broth, but the recipe was changed because Bell is a vegetarian.


13. Ashley Bell’s father, famous voice-over artist Michael Bell, provided the voice for the devil.

Bell’s credits include voices from the Transformers cartoon, G.I. Joe, Chas Finster and Drew Pickles in Rugrats, and Handy, Grouchy, and Lazy Smurf from The Smurfs.


14. The filmmakers used Google Translate to create the Latin text in Cotton’s demonology book.

When no translation for certain words could be found, the English was simply left in.


15. The ending is inspired by John Carpenter’s The Thing.

As in The Thing, the filmmakers left the ending ambiguous and didn’t want to neatly wrap up each storyline.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…