Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dollar Bin Horror Spotlight:The Exorcist

By Eric Polk
When asked, I tell people my favorite period of movies come from the 1970s, specifically, the early-70s. I mean think about it. Some of the most iconic films ever made come from that era. The Godfather, Dirty Harry, Shaft, etc. For horror fans, there was the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and my favorite scary movie of all time, 1973's The Exorcist.

Directed by William Friedkin and based on the novel by William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist mainly revolves around the demonic possession of Ragan McNeill(Linda Blair), but there is also more to this story than just that plot. You have Father Karras(Jason Miller) going through a crisis of faith, poor Chris McNeill, Ragan's mother, going to doctors who pump Ragan with drugs and lab tests.

In the end, the money shots are of course the actual exorcism performed by Father Karras and Father Merrin(Max Von Sydow) and the finale that ultimately would lead to subsequently inferior sequels.

Few movies have frightened me the way this movie has and still does. The shocking things Ragan does as she's possessed still resonates with me all of these years later. The most underplayed aspect though in this film is the acting. There is no cheesy horror dialogue clinging to this film the way many genre-based films do. There is a depth to this piece that one may find interesting. If you haven't done so, please check this out. I guarantee you will enjoy this, if you can handle the slow pace of the film's first 45 mins. or so.



William Malmborg said...

I saw the first 'head turn' scene when I was really little and it completely freaked me out. It took several years before I could watch the entire movie.

The whole idea of demons coming from beyond and taking control is frightening.

Eric Polk said...

I shuddered last night when I saw the scene involving the crucifix. This movie still scares me everytime I watch it.

TheGirlWhoLovesHorror said...

I remember when I was young, flipping through the channels, and I stop on the scene where Reagan is flopping up and down on her bed and then she stops and growls, yeah? I asked my dad what it was and he just grabbed the remote and turned it off.

It is slow at first, but the rest of the movie is so worth it.