Eli Roth: The Last Exorcism was the 'scariest script'


Film director and producer Eli Roth says he was attracted to horror flick The Last Exorcism because it was "one of the best, scariest scripts I'd ever read".

Eli Roth

Roth is probably best known for bloodthirsty horrors like Hostel, but says he's "equally proud, if not more so" to have helped produce the psychological creepiness of The Last Exorcism, which is out in the UK today [3 September].

The movie, about a preacher who agrees to have his last exorcism filmed for TV, is currently coming a close second at the US box office - something that Roth is pleased about.

He said: "It's incredible. We made the movie for under $2m (£1.3m) and it opened at over $20m (£13m).

"I can't remember the last time it happened at the box office with two actors who are unknown."

Making a name

The film stars Patrick Fabian and Ashley Bell, who've both appeared in various American TV dramas, but are not associated with any big movies.

Director Daniel Stamm says he wanted to make the film seem more 'real' by casting unknowns from the outset.

Horror should rattle you and disturb you and take you into a place where maybe you don't quite want to go
Eli Roth

He said: "The movies that impressed me most are the ones where I saw the actors for the first time and they've become that person to me.

"I was excited to do the same with two unknown actors."

Multi-talented Roth, who also acts and writes films, says the script was improvised for some of the shoot, which was pretty basic.

He said: "We did shoot on location in an old plantation that had been flooded by Katrina and is hundreds of years old.

"You had that smell in there, that heat in there. We didn't have air conditioning, We didn't do make-up or hair."

'Psychological build'

The trailer for the movie bills it as a typical fright-fest and Roth says although it's one of the best he's seen it's a bit misleading.

Peaches Geldof and Eli Roth
Image caption Roth has come under the media spotlight since dating Peaches Geldof

He said: "It's slightly misrepresentative of the tone of the film.

"You want to get people into the theatre but they're expecting this gruelling intense thing but it's really a slow psychological build to figure out if this girl's crazy or if she's possessed."

Roth's not afraid to tackle the horror genre head on and co-wrote 2002 flick Cabin Fever, which sees a group of college students falling victim to a flesh-eating virus, as well as writing and producing 2005's Hostel.

He said: "I think horror should never be safe, whether it's violent or non violent.

"You should never be able to predict where it's going. Any of your characters should be able to go at any moment.

"Horror should rattle you and disturb you and take you into a place where maybe you don't quite want to go."

You may have seen more of Roth in the papers recently thanks to his much-publicised relationship with Peaches Geldof, something which has drawn crowds of photographers to his house.

"Obviously it's a very, very different thing. You know about it and it's a bit of a shock but she's been dealing with it her whole life.

"For me it's very new, but really it's nothing - we don't pay any attention to it," he said.