By Maciel Bustos
The Exorcist (1973)
“The Exorcist” is a film about 12-year-old Regan McNeil (Linda blair) who became tragically possessed by her friend “Captain Howdy,” who she met by playing a OUIJA BOARD. Regan’s mother (Ellen Burstyn) calls for help from Father Merrin (Max Von Sydow) and Father Karras (Jason Miller); the two work together to free Regan from the possession.
Rating: R (for strong language and disturbing images)
Genre: Classics, Horror
Directed By: William Friedkin
In Theaters: Dec 26, 1973 Wide
On DVD: Dec 1, 1998
Runtime: 2 hr. 2 min.
Warner Bros. Picture
After watching this movie, I soon understood why they call it the scariest movie made. While this may not be true now, it definitely was then. The suspense of finding out what happens to Regan is definitely the main point of the movie. While nowadays most movies are made with predictable scenes and plot lines. This movie may have started slow, but trust me it will pick up the pace with unforgettable scenes. In the beginning of the movie we see a man names Lankster Merrin, an architect & priest, who finds a strange amulet during an archaeological trip in Iraq. After that the scene moves to Georgetown, Washington where mother Chris McNeil hears strange sounds but comes to find nothing; this is when things begin to get strange.
Later on, Regan, daughter of Chris, shows her mother how to play an Ouija board & explains that she has a friend named “Captain Howdy” , whom she met playing the Ouija board. Now when you see an Ouija board brought into a movie, you immediately know it’s not going to be good. The movie then turns to Regan’s mother having a dinner party. While all the guest are gathered around the piano, Regan appears and says, “You’re going to die up there”, in reply to the priest statement about being accepted into heaven. The next day Regan is calling for help & her bed is violently shaking. Regan is sent to the doctors, so that they can study her & see what’s wrong, but they find nothing. Regan’s room is a mess after papers & other objects from her room start flying, while her head turns 360 degrees. At this point, you freak out. Why did her head spin? Here is when you start asking yourself, “Is it really a good idea to still watch this?” The answer is No but you will still continue to. Chris seeks help for a priest to perform an exorcism on her daughter. The scene turns back to Regan with her skin color drained and scared is shown. This is where the amazing special effects are shown. The detail on Regan’s face is amazing, which makes her even scarier. Later on in the movie, Father Karras finds the words, “Help Me” appear on Regan’s stomach. Father Karras & Father Merrin work together to free Regan, to which Father Merrin realizes the demon possessing Regan is Pazuzu, a demon he fought before.
There’s so much more in this movie that I cannot explain without spoiling, but the ending is very shocking. . Back then “The Exorcist” was a huge hit, earning back ten times its $10 million budget. The movie was nominated for many awards such as an Oscar, Golden Globes, etc. This movie is perfect to watch during the month of October.
Maciel B. (The Pitchfork) Rating: 8/10
“For fans of real horror movies, the kind that induce true fear instead of just momentary jumps, this is the gold standard. Almost universally considered the most frightening movie ever made, it succeeds as a movie in general in addition to just the genre “
— Rementis Rating: 5/5
“There is nothing dated about The Exorcist, which remains an effective excursion into demonic possession more than a quarter of a century after it was first unveiled to the public”
James Berardinelli Rating: 3/4