The Nightmare Zone

Full Version: The Exorcist (1973)
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One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting odd -- levitating, speaking in tongues -- her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A local priest (Jason Miller), however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil. The priest makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow) to help with the difficult job.
Pretty stellar. Though it never came close to scaring me. Feels a bit like a drama/horror hybrid, but the characters and writing are strong. Loved Father Karras
Literally one of the best supernatural films of all time.
The most predictable "scariest horror movie of all time!" choice.
This movie never scared me, but i loved it. The staircase spider scene is funny
(07-08-2018, 11:59 AM)DianeSelwyn Wrote: [ -> ]The most predictable "scariest horror movie of all time!" choice.

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I remember watching this for the first time a few years ago when we screened it together, and even chatting with you guys, I still found it to be one of the scariest movies ever made. The thing about it beyond just the spider walk, the pea soup, and the crucifix scene is that, even though it's rooted in Catholicism, it's probably the best adaptation of the tone of an H. P. Lovecraft story ever made. Humanity is portrayed as tiny and helpless in the face of the supernatural forces lying just under the surface of their seemingly rational world, with Chris' despair over her daughter's possession being not unlike the spiral into madness that many of Lovecraft's protagonists undergo as they learn the truth about the old gods. It's often said that this movie scared a whole generation back into church, and I can see where they're coming from. That's what a lot of later possession films miss: they just use the trappings of religion for a generic spook-show, whereas this film went the extra mile and explored the implications of such, extracting some far more serious horror from that.
I feel like the hype about how scary it is really what drags this down. It's upsetting to me because people only go in for something extremely scary and forget that it's just a movie and it has a lot more to offer than scares. it's genuinely creepy to me though, and it's extremely well made with a lot of interesting themes & aspects people overlook. It's not scary to me anymore but it's still a movie I adore and one of my all time faves
Not all the drags about this film... Fix yourselves.
Seeing this movie on the big screen while stoned was crazy to say the least.

Always been one of my favorite movies ever. I hadn't watched the movie in a year or so and had kind of grown tired of it from watching it so much over the years, but getting to return to this movie in this way was super exciting.

I really felt transported into the movie, and it let me enjoy the movie more than I ever had before. My reviews aren't really that in depth, but the story and the directing and the acting and the effects all come together to form a nearly perfect movie whew. Even though the movie has always been acclaimed, it's a shame that being a horror movie about such dark things prevented it from getting truly the recognition it deserved at the time. But to great irony, the effectiveness of the movie is largely why it had that reaction. From people harassing Linda Blair and being terrified of her despite the fact that she was just an innocent actress, to the tragedies linked to the film/seemingly supernatural activity on set, etc. It really was more than just a "movie" when it came out, or so at least it feels that way when looking back. Linda Blair was robbed of an oscar win, I don't care if most of the voice isn't her- she was giving this performance everything in her soul in a way you rarely see from child actors. Ellen Burstyn and Jason Miller and Max von Sydow all stand out with their performances too. So much of the movie is just beautifully shot in a way I never could really appreciate on the small screen- maybe it was the print of the movie they showed (which might just be a new bluray lol) paired with the size of the screen but it was just beautiful. The ending just feels so raw and real and my heart was pounding the whole time, and I got really emotional by the end. Such a great movie and even though it's super long it flies by.


I rewatched this with William Friedkin's commentary.

Most of the commentary is pretty useless since he kind of just describes what's happening on screen the whole time, but he did have some cool insights that I needed reminding of.

I love the great foreshadowing all through the movie. Like Chris and Regan fighting for the cookie in the beginning of the movie being parallel to them fighting over the crucifix later on. The wolf and little red riding hood being tricked. Regan's pazuzu statue. The way Regan is somewhat fixated on Burke even before the possession. Really shows how the demon operates because he did kill someone Regan seems to be threatened by. The fact that the Crucifix was found in Regans bedroom and Chris set it on the table, meaning Regan snuck downstairs to retrieve it.

I also have a new appreciation for the characters. I never really cared for many of the characters aside from Regan, Karras, and Chris, but having rewatched I love all the characters.

Characters like Sharon are subtle but her sticking by Chris till Regan was okay and being so protective & supportive of someone who is really just her "boss" is super endearing, especially if we were to consider the book version where Regan specifically targeted Sharon during the spiderwalk scene (which tbh stands out in the extended cut because it seems to be the only added "horror" scene). I also love Father Dyer & his friendship with Karras. Of course Kinderman is a great character as well. I always tease Father Merin too (I like to call him Father Mystical) but there is something fun about his simplistic battle against evil. I just find Karras more compelling.

For everyone who prefers the theatrical cut, I can't really understand why. The scene of Karras and Merin on the steps may be heavy handed "this is the meaning of the story" but I think it's still powerful, especially given it's just one "theory" as to why the demon is doing this. The Spider walk scene is kind of short all things considered lol, but it stands out as the only "horror" scene added in the entire movie (not counting the creepy flash images added). Every other scene adds to the movie in a significant way. The stuff added is just more character/story development, it adds so much more to the story and makes it feel more complete. A lot of the quieter character moments are added. I also love Father Dyer handing the metal back to Chris, etc. I get that the original movie is definitely

The only benefit of theatrical is it "gets to the point" much faster, but basically that's not really what i always want from this movie.
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