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I don't get it. I really don't.... At the very beginning of this film's grotesque and bleak story (at an excavation site in Northern Iraq), a small, ancient effigy representing a devil-like figure is uncovered amongst the ruins.
This discovery somehow unleashes a demon-spirit which then inexplicably transports itself all the way over to the USA where it (for whatever reasons) takes possession of a 13 year-old girl, living in Georgetown.
What I don't get is this - In Iraq the principal religion has always been Islam - So, with that in mind - What the hell good would Catholic priests performing a Christian exorcism do to help rid a girl of a demon that comes from a religion which doesn't even recognize Christianity?
If nothing else - This decidedly heavy-handed horror story certainly made a total laughing stock out of the Catholic religion..... Personally, I cannot see why so much fuss has been made about this particular fright flick over these many years. Now 40+ years old, The Exorcist has definitely lost a significant amount of its initial clout. In fact, I'd say that it was pretty laughable, in the long run.
Aside from the intentionally disturbing nature of this 1973 film, I find this story about a "possessed" girl to be somewhat confused and only half-baked... Well, what could I expect?
The makers of "The Exorcist" certainly weren't aiming for plausibility here. No. Their goal was to gross the audience out like it had never been grossed out before and make a huge pile of money doing it. I'm sure we'd all agree that they succeeded very well on both counts.
As far as Regan's "possession" goes, I think it was a really screwy one and kinda wimpy, too.
To begin with, since she seemed to be fortified with an incredible amount of physical power, this left me wondering why the hell she would allow herself to be confined, like a prisoner, to her own bedroom. I would think that whatever it was that was possessing her would be itching to go out on the town and, you know, turn a few heads around on Main Street, or something wickedly-fun like that. But none of this kinda thing happened. There were no aborted escape attempts, either.
All-in-all, it was a kind of stupid "demon". Boring and unadventurous, if you ask me. But apparently Regan did get out once (or did she?) to desecrate the virgin Mary icon in the church. And her desecration was so artistically done, too. It was an amazing piece of art work for a mere twelve-year-old whose previous examples of clay figures were lumpy turtles and the likes.
great horror movie that has stood the test of time!
usually have to have a brain to appreciate it :)
The plot is a little simple and I didn't find it that scary but it's a well made film and the acting is great. It was a lot more vulgar than I was expecting, especially considering it's age.
"The Exorcist" is truly a cinematic masterpiece. Very few thrillers thrill, very few comedies are funny, very few war films are viscerally realistic. And even fewer horror movies actually scare. "The Exorcist" is one of those films that successfully does what the genre is meant to do--to scare the living shit out of people. Ever since it's release in 1973, "The Exorcist" has been highly regarded as the scariest movie ever made, and rightfully so. This film builds the terror and suspense up extremely well. Several sequences chill you to the core and the images will stick in your mind forever. The way evil and the Catholic Church is presented in this movie is incredibly realistic which makes the movie all the more terrifying. Everything from child mutilation and crucifix masturbation to the famously intense 25 minute long exorcism in the end, "The Exorcist" truly sends chills up and down the spine and to this day is really the only film made that is sincerely and genuinely horrifying. It is a cinematic phenomenon and one that I am not interested in watching ever again.
Well, darlings - Messy. Over-rated horror. Is this really supposed to be the best mainstream film around about demon possession? Ugh!
This is in response to Derringer's comment.
First, Islam does recognize Christianity, the Quran says that Christians are the closest to Muslims and that they are with the Jews from the people of the book. The main difference is that Islam does not believe in the trinity and original sin doctrines and that Muslims believe that there was another prophet after Jesus.
You said that this demon from Iraq is from Islam. Demons are not from any religion since they rebel against God. Concerning moving from a country to another, they can travel on their own, flying in the air as I have read.
The priest conducting the exorcism was Father Merrill and he was assisted by Father Damian Karras who had doubts in his christian faith. He was chosen because he was also a psychiatrist. Apparently, they wanted to rule out that this possession was not a case of schizophrenia where people hear voices and/or see things that are not there.
Concerning the 360 degrees neck rotation, I agree with you that this anatomically impossible except for an owl which has more vertebrae (back bones) in its neck. The only explanation I could think of would be that the image of the demon was hiding the real person behind himself and it was only that image that was doing this apparent neck movement.
There was another movie (TV) in 2000 with Timothy Dalton called Possessed that is supposed to be more reliable as to what really did occur that inspired these 2 movies.
It's OK horror - But I thought that the possessed girl was pretty stupid that she didn't try to escape and get out onto the streets.
The whole mood of the film, from begining to end is superb! This was WAAAAAY beter than that overated bore Citezen Kane!!! yes i know i misspelled it, I was being ironic!
The Devil made me do it so there!
Classics! Even watching again in late 2015, this movie is still entertaining. A classics!
I don't get it. I really don't.
At the very beginning of this film's grotesque and bleak story (at an excavation site in Northern Iraq), a small, ancient effigy representing a devil-like figure is uncovered amongst the ruins.
This discovery somehow unleashes a demon-spirit which then inexplicably transports itself all the way over to the USA where it, for whatever reasons, takes possession of a 13 year-old girl, living in Georgetown.
What I don't get is this - In Iraq the principal religion has always been Islam - So, with that in mind - What the hell good would Catholic priests performing a Christian exorcism do to help rid a girl of a demon that comes from a religion which doesn't even recognize Christianity? Eh? What good would it do?
If nothing else - This decidedly heavy-handed horror story certainly made a total laughing stock out of the Catholic religion. For example - Here we had to contend with the extremely volatile and guilt-ridden character of Father Damian Karras (a real boozer) who was the chosen one, supposedly best suited to perform the exorcism ritual which was intended to de-demonize Regan.
Personally, I cannot see why so much fuss has been made about this particular fright flick over these many years. Now 40 years old, The Exorcist has definitely lost a significant amount of its initial clout. In fact, I'd say that it was pretty laughable, in the long run. Especially that whole nonsensical business of Regan being able to completely spin her head around without tearing her skin or snapping her spinal cord.... (Spare me!)
Definitive version of classic horror movie. Technically well made production, a judicious cast, suspense aplenty and shock value only reaffirms this groundbreaker through the test of time.
Laughed at this in '74, and I laugh at it now. Superstitious nonsense. Still, an entertaining movie. Good for a bit of amusement.
I laughed at it in '74 and still laugh at it. Well made movie, but superstitious nonsense all around. The Omen series is more interesting. The Exorcist sequel with Richard Burton is an absolute scream. It is an unintentional hilarious comedy.
Yes, it's dated. If you are in the younger generation and expecting grand special effects or copious amount of blood and gore you will not like this. However if you watch it in the spirit (no pun intended) in which it was made, it may just scare the hell out of you. (ok, this time, pun intended)
Oh, and for anyone who feels the movie is "anti-god" it's actually quite the opposite. One of the most "pro-god" movies ever made. At times you are CHEERING for god to win!
why don't they have the regular version? not the extended one, but the original, theatrical one.
I saw this in 1974 when asked by a girlfriend to see it with her. She had been so scared the first time that she saw it, she had left and then needed to return to see it through. She wanted me to go with her for support. Scary movies were not my thing, but I went with her and thought it quite a good movie. In 1995, I bought it on DVD and saw it again, and again, and again. I found it deeply moving, not so much for Reagan and the satanic spirit, but for the relationship between the older priest and the younger priest. The older priest had lived a full life and knew of things that could not be taught. The younger priest possessed no faith, and thought the whole exercise unbelieveable. During the course of the movie, the younger priest experiences a transformation. This spiritual transformation is the real subject of the movie. If a myth is a fictional story which reveals a deeper truth, then this is a very powerful myth about spiritual transformation, regardless whether you believe in satan, exorcisms, religion or whatever. The accompanying commentary must be heard to fully appreciate the depth of this film. Personally, this is an all-time top ten movie.
i saw this and the devil made me gouge my eyes out. do not watch this evil thing!
As the old saying goes, Father Damien beat the Devil out of Regan!!
How quaint. The way it turned out, he was the Exorcist. Not Father Merrin. It was he that drove the devil (actually it was a the demon named Pazuzu) out of Regan. Not with the exorcism ritual, but with a good old fashion beating. Parents should let that be a lesson to them.
First time I saw this movie, as a young kid, I started laughing when Regan first becomes possessed and cracked up laughing every time I heard it speak or saw its silly little face.. although my mother, who was born in 1947 spoke of this movie at my private Christian elementary school as if viewing it were as horrific as being a Vietnam vet or something... so I think how "scary" you find this has a lot to do with how scary you find pretty much everything. Like the mailman and fuzzy bunnies. Most modern-day kids (those born in the 90s and after that period) are almost certainly not going to be freaked by this. Unless they are raised by helicopter parents, in which case they're going to need therapy anyway, so you might as well show this to 'em.
As one who does not believe in demons and heaven and hell, I still find this film well executed for sheer escapism. Despite its date, the film still delivers what it was supposed to deliver decades ago. A good way to spend a couple of hours. Definitely not for kids and the faint-of-heart.