Confused About The Last Exorcism? Don’t Be

Seal of Paimon

I watched Eli Roth‘s ‘Last Exorcism‘ on it’s midnight premiere on August 27th, which also happened to be my birthday. I had heard that this movie was going to be pretty scary so I love a good challenge to my taste for horror movies. On the other hand, even though I love a good spiritual thriller, I remember being unable to sleep for DAYS after watching Paranormal Activity!

On the official side, ‘The Last Exorcism’ received mixed initial responses ranging from superfluous praise to downright disappointment. Rotten Tomatoes has given it 71% which is a pretty positive reaction.

From this point forward, if you haven’t seen the movie, know that the rest of this article is chock full of spoilers and my personal interpretation of the confusing ending.

I like to think that the buildup to the pinnacle of the movie was great, however the ending of the movie left me with questions about what really happened. The turning point to the ending of the movie was when Reverend Cotton decided to turn around after discovering that Logan was actually quite gay.

When he gets back to the farm, it seems deserted and shrouded in darkness with not a sound to be heard. The camera man turns his light on which gives the audience a visceral and fear inducing picture: the house is in shambles and the walls are filled with what appear to be  ‘demonic’ sigils.

As an FYI, the symbols in this scene are completely “Hollywood-ized” but they are based on something tangible and historically existent. Some symbols are Hermetic and others just vaguely Pagan in origin, so they were immediately recognizeable to me.

Taking a few steps back… in the mid-point of the movie, the audience is  introduced to a demon named Abalam. The demon, book and the drawing shown in this scene were clearly inspired by the Goetia and the 72 Spirits of Solomon. The Goetia, for those who aren’t familiar with it, is a type of grimoire (collection of occult knowledge) that focuses on the descriptions of verious spirits what were imprisioned by Solomon the King.

Although Abalam is not specifically one of the spirits listed in the Lesser Key, he is actually attributed to Paimon, who ideed is one of the spirits in the real grimoire. The seal of Paimon is illustrated at the top of this post. Abalam is not historically significant in any demonology text.

In the movie, Abalam is described as:

[Abalam] was described as a demon that would encourage lust and desires. Not to mention it would defile certain beings during possession and the only escape was through death.

Which brings us to the next topic as to what sort of ritual was being performed in the forest clearing.

In my personal opinion based on the rituals outlined in the Goetia and other demonology texts, I believe that this cult was purposefully wanting to release their patron demon, Abalam, onto this plane of existence by burning and killing a physical manifestation of himself (the possessed child).

Of course, this would require a belief that when a human is dead, it’s spirit remains with us in this world. This is why when the demon child is thrown into the fire, the flames rise unnaturally high, alluding that the demon has been released onto the Earth and that Abalam is one giant beast.

Based on everything that happens in the forest clearing, we can assume that Nell was forcibly possessed by her bother Caleb, who is revealed to be a member of the cult. Furthermore, I would assume that this cult intended this demon, Abalam, to be the Antichrist. I suppose some flaws with this concept is that none of the Spirits of Solomon are incubuses and therefore would be unable to impregnate a mortal being.

Please remember that this interpretation is a comparison and analyzation of FICTIONAL work. What did you think about ‘The Last Exorcism’?

17 thoughts on “Confused About The Last Exorcism? Don’t Be”

  • I want to know if the last exorcism is real…if it was based on a true story?
    I want to know if what happened in the last exorcism actually happened in
    real life, If so, then do rituals like those happen? Are there pastors in this
    world that actually side with the devil and disguise themselves…as faithful
    people/ followers of God.

    • Exorcisms are real occurances, and there are trained professionals who can extract such entities from people who are being plagued by them. No matter what faith you believe in, daemons exist; yet not all of them are evil as they are perceived to be.

      I believe that there are a very few people out there who have earned their positions as spiritual leaders. Most of them have been given the title or have had it passed down from generation to generation. However, those particulars who have earned their title have done so because they know the ways of the world. Both good AND bad. And because they have experienced the power or know the power that demons can hold, they are well aware of how to cast them out.

      The thing is, daemons possess great power. Humans are often lured by such promises of riches and knowledge and so are so easily seduced by the promises that ‘evil’ can bring. In fact, in order to be a legit demonologist, you must have been a priest at some point. Food for thought.

    • The concepts of demons, gods and mysticism are all fairy tales. While this movie was entertaining, its premise itself was fictionalized. Here’s a thought experiment for you: There are 7 billion people living on the planet today, correct? That means even more billions had come before us. Are you telling me, that throughout recorded modern history some idiot who didn’t “know how to close the circle” didn’t actually let a demon out on to our plane of existence? Do you really believe that, if people are throwing themselves into curbs on YouTube for a laugh that someone wouldn’t have filmed one of these colossal fuck-ups and physical evidence of anything other than the natural world would be observable? Common Corky. What can be presented without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

      • My boyfriends 10 year old sister is terrified of horror movies and has never seen one but she has a new imaginary friend named Abalam. She comes to her at night and tells her weird evil things. Abalam asked her to make an object he could go into and talk to her. She made a squishy toy and a few weeks later she was scared and asked my boyfriend to burn it. How does a 10 year old who knows nothing about this stuff come up with an evil friend named Abalam? Should we be worried?

  • Crysti,

    I just saw the movie moments ago and google’d it. Your site popped up, and your synopsis of the confusing ending was very satisfying and plausible. Thanks for the good work!

  • Just finished watching the movie. & i don’t understand the ending. I understand the ritual that is going on there. But i don’t get why caleb kills the other people. Or wat happend to cotton. Wat i also don’t understand is why they burn abalam.? If its there main reason for killin the people. Or how did she even get pregnat.? Was it her brother or the priest or did the demon just got her pregnant.? I don’t like the ending of the movie cuz it doesn’t tell you wat happends

    • Well, what the ending was talking about was that Caleb became part demon because of the stab Nell gave him. He killed Cotton the Camera Man who was spotted because of the bright camera light. The religious people saw the bright camera light and didn’t like the filming so they all chased after Iris and Cotton. As I was saying Cotton got killed because of Caleb (part demon) and he died as caleb hit him and stabbed him with a sharp object commonly found in the woods, the same way his sister tried to kill him. There, you have it, Cotton died because of that. The way Iris died was that the religious people who saw the camera was chasing after Iris, and one of the religious people had an axe from the ritual thing to get rid of Abalam for Nell. One of the religous people shouted ” kill the bitch”! Thus sending a religous person to use the axe to kill Iris. They killed Iris too because they didn’t like that she was with the camera man and friends with him. The priest Daniel was holding on to the Jesus cross the whole time this adventerous death was happening so he ran up to the demon wildfire with the Jesus cross and said things like “You can’t have this girl’s soul, demon”! He dies in the fire because he was so close to it. Nell also dies because the ritual is to burn the person to rid the demon from them forever. The person’s spirit always remains with them, but the spirit is free of any demons because of what happened to the former person. The demon got her pregnant because he was inside of her. Her brother is only part demon so he’s not sick enough to have sex with his own sister like the full demon is. The priest does obviously not have sex with her because he isn’t sick enough either and he is against the girl getting raped anyways. Also another clue of the demon raping her was when the religious woman pulled Nell’s baby out it was a full demon. Not a person like if the priest or brother did it. They burned Abalam and Nell and the baby demon in the fire because that is the only way to rid a spirit and all that goes with it to go to Hell. Of course, Nell doesn’t go to Hell as she isn’t the demon. She goes to Heaven. Hell is where the demon actually lives and the demon is constantly tring to haunt a person of guilt and that is how he or she gets out of Hell. So, yes, the only way to rid a spirit according to the bible is to burn everything in the fire. And all together the main reason for killing everyone was because of angriness and going to Hell for your punishments or to send the demon back. The end of the movie is obviously already explained as I hope you are reading everything I wrote, above. You know, the reasons why everyone is dead, how she got pregnant, how people were not sick enough to have sex with a demon girl… etc. I wrote it, you read it. Anyways the ending of the movie was cut off because the movie was supposed to give you a creepy feeling that now a demon might kill you without a happy ending, relating to the movie. So now you get the scoop. The ending, the pregnancy, the killings, the EVERYTHING! There you go, thats the Crystianna scoop!

  • that was about the stupidest interpretation i have ever heard! This is Crysti’s page, not crytiaana’s. Eli Roth is an amazing Film maker and if that’s what you got out of it, maybe you shouldn’t watch his movies.

  • this movie is amazing but i don’t got a satisfaction about the abalam demon
    and the girl having a baby of demon inside her
    if so why wouldn’t the father of the girl killher before if she was a demon carrier n how does the girl brother’s came to be the part of the demon

  • What I’ve been told from friends is that the brother was actually possessed, and he rapes his sister, thereby impregnating her. The baby in her was taking control of her body, and was making her do those things. She wasn’t actually possessed in the typical sense. Her brother was the one possessed because he was controlling the wholse situation, why do you think he didn’t want Cotton to do an excercism on his sister, he didn’t want her to die, not because he would miss her but because Alabam wouldn’t be reborn. Sorry if my spelling sucks.

  • Personally i believe that anything is posible. I’ve actually been posessed my self. I was 14 and i had just gotton into the punk rock goth stage. The group i had hung out with was in a cult and i was in the prosses of becoming one of them. The nights we started getting together and going to a little wooded area and preformed a ritual is after that i started feeling different and becoming a different person on the outside and inside. A few months went by in this new lifestyle that i began to attach my self to and love i also ejoyed the fact that i was alot different in my looks on the outside and my attitude on the outside. I didnt care what people thought about me and how i looked. I actually got a kick out of how people reacted to me when i was in public or when i went to a new place. They would call me a freak or think i was evil or weired. I liked being different so much the more people reacted to me and my new becoming the more i wanted to be more different. Almost a year went by & i was possosed.

  • first off – great interpretation of the movie and the ending. Your interest and knowledge on the subject seem vast. I noticed an earlier reply where you stated ‘demons are real..though not always as evil as people make them out to be’ ..
    but isn’t a demon by definition a malevolent entity who thrives on negative and evil ?
    how is there “lesser” forms of that ? can you give me an example of a contrast between one you would cite as very bad and one that is not so evil ? ( i sound like im typing a test lol – ) just curious about your opinion thats all..thanks !

    • Sure, Doug. The word ‘demon’ itself is a word that has been plagued with errors in translation. ‘Daimon’ simply means ‘spirit’ or even ‘guardian’; and this word was originally used in most religious historical text. Thus began the issues with the first translation from Hebrew to Greek.

      In addition, ‘devil’ originated from the Greek word ‘diabolos’ which means ‘accuser’. However, in Hebrew, ‘diabolos’ is translated to ‘Satan’. Lots of issues there, too.

      Anyhow, no…not all ‘demons’ are evil. If you’re interested, take a look at the Lesser Key of Solomon. These spirits have varying levels of intelligence and some are more – shall we say – mischievous than others.

  • Exorcisms are akin to bargaining with the devil to leave. In reality “exorcisms” shouldn’t last beyond as long as it takes for someone with authority to cast out the spirit(s). No head spinning, green vomit, endless repetitions of Latin phrases. Just deliverance. If someone is engaging in ritual involving rote readings and sayings they are doing it wrong.

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