The Exorcist

 

 
Quick Stats
 

Genre:
 
Director:
 
Actors: , , ,
 
MPAA Rating:
 
Release Date: December 26th, 1973.
 
Length: 2 hours and 2 minutes.
 
Storyline: When her daughter exhibits strange behaviour, Chris begins to suspect she is possessed by a demonic entity and enlists the help of two priests to save her daughter.
 
Studio: Warner Bros.
 
Producer: William Peter Blatty, Noel Marshall, David Salvin.
 
Written By: William Peter Blatty.
 
Plot / Story
70%


 
Characters
80%


 
Acting
90%


 
Cinematography
95%


 
Soundtrack
95%


 
Uniqueness
60%


 
Total Score
82%


User Rating
6 total ratings

 

What We Liked


There’s a sense of true dread that comes with viewing The Exorcist. It’s not complacent to simply cause your heart to miss a beat, but instead to hold your breath and watch helplessly as an innocent girl is dragged through a hellish nightmare.

What We Disliked


The religious imagery is more than many may be able to stomach. The offensive nature is likely to turn many viewers away.


Bottom Line

The Exorcist is true horror at its finest. With bone-chilling and iconic scenes, first-time viewers will either be offended by the morally questionable narrative surrounding a young child, or they’ll be haunted by visions of a horrifically scarred young girl. The Exorcist is guaranteed to move you in some fashion, even if you’ve become jaded by modern horror.

0
Posted April 19, 2015 by

 
Buy, Rent or Cinema
 
 

The Exorcist Full Review

What makes this particular film stand the test of time so well? What is it that resonates with audiences after over 40 years? Simply put: The Exorcist is a story of the unthinkable, and it’s told in the grizzliest way possible. This is the film that began the demonic possession explosion that continues to be a Hollywood standard even to this day. The Exorcist did it first, and there’s truly not much of an argument that it did it best.

Horror is a genre defined by terror. Of course, what defines “terror” varies from person to person. Modern horror tends to hang to the idea that endless jump-scares and the time-tested trope of a family moving into a new home, only to find that it’s haunted are the formula to the film’s success. Before that, we had the movement of “torture porn,” which used disturbing images of human bodies being ripped and torn and broken as a way to disturb and disgust the viewer. Even before that was the infamous “slasher” genre, which relied heavily on the standard “unstoppable and unknown killer” that mutilates sinful and beautiful youngsters.

Before all of these, there was The Exorcist. What makes this particular film stand the test of time so well? What is it that resonates with audiences after over 40 years? Simply put: The Exorcist is a story of the unthinkable, and it’s told in the grizzliest way possible. This is the film that began the demonic possession explosion that continues to be a Hollywood standard even to this day. The Exorcist did it first, and there’s truly not much of an argument that it did it best.

The story is rather straight-forward, but a slow-burn in the first half of the film sets the stage for the haunting second half. This is a method rarely employed in modern horror, but absolutely served to give you, the viewer, a deeper connection to the main character, Regan, and her mother, Chris. At the same time, we learn of Father Karras’ internal struggle with his faith and the loss of his mother. All of this comes together in one infamous scene in a bedroom where it becomes the literal personification of the ultimate good seeking to preserve innocence and rid it of the ultimate evil.

This isn’t a film for the faint-of-heart. The insanely vulgar things that come from Regan’s mouth are likely to deeply disturb all but the most jaded viewers. If you take issue with blasphemous dialogue and heinous actions, then, by all means, take a pass on watching The Exorcist for your own good. One especially gruesome scene involving a crucifix has long been one of the most controversial in film history, and even those of you who have seen hundreds of horror movies are likely to be shocked by the imagery and the dialogue that accompany it.

That’s not to say the film relies completely on shocking the viewer. Quite the contrary, really. It has far less blood and violence than the typical slasher or torture porn, and really only one moment could be considered a “jumpscare” (and that particular scene is only in the extended version of the film). Instead, The Exorcist boldly takes its slow-burning approach to grow and escalating sense of pure dread and tension. By the time Father Karras opens the door to Regan’s bedroom for his final confrontation with the evil therein, you’ll find that you’ve been holding your breath for about fifteen minutes with your heart racing wildly out of control. This is true horror that will deeply disturb and move most of those who can stomach to view it.

The iconic images of Regan’s backward head, her spider-crawl down the stairs, her levitating above the bed, and her constant taunting of the priest who is only attempting to save her life have aged to perfection. The literally chilling atmosphere that surrounds every scene in the latter half of the movie is the stuff of nightmares. There are no computer-generated images here, just very, very well-done practical makeup effects that arguably look even more grotesque than most modern films. The entire film is perfectly scored with one of the most haunting soundtracks in film history, adding even more to the beautiful scene of Father Merrin standing in the dark with his briefcase, ready to tangle with the devil.

Good taste takes a back seat to deep-seeded and disturbing horror in William Blatty’s The Exorcist. The relentless tension that slowly builds throughout the film serves to connect us with the characters, and then break our hearts as they are systematically broken down and crushed by the pure evil that dwells within Regan’s innocent shell. The Exorcist is a classic horror that even those of us who have become desensitised by R-rated gore fests will be deeply moved and disturbed by.

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The Editor

 


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