Exorcist, The

1973 · Warner Bros.
Exorcist, The — Movie Review by Karthik
10 out of 10
Directing Credits
William Friedkin
Writing Credits
Screenplay by William Peter Blatty, based on his novel
Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow

The Review

Georgetown, USA: Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) is troubled by the sudden strange behaviour of her 12 year old daughter, Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair).  Doctors try to explain it by saying that it could be caused by "nerves" - or maybe lesions in her brain.  But none of that proves to be the case, and Regan's behaviour only gets worse...  Chris slowly realises her daughter is actually possessed by the Devil.

Chris turns to a priest, Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) for help in driving the demon out of her daughter.  Father Karras is a troubled priest who has recently lost his mother, and for Regan's exorcism, he must confront his fears.  Of course, he will also have help from Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) who had performed a six-month long exorcism in Iraq earlier.

This is probably the scariest movie I have ever seen.  It was terrifying to watch even on the TV screen, thanks to the excellent use of camerawork, camera tricks, effects and sound!  The acting was all very good and the make-up effects very gruesome.  The vocal effects for the demon (by Mercedes McCambridge) contribute largely to the shock factor of the movie.

I also thought that this movie was a more measured sort of horror film than usual, meaning that it took quite some time to establish the characters and situations.  That made the movie more effective I thought.  And if you actually take a careful look, there isn't that much violence or gore put on screen - rather, much of the horror is psychological, which makes it have a lasting impact, as it did on me.  Definitely not for the easily scared, and definitely a must for the horror movie fans who haven't already seen it!

Some interesting facts - according to the book, the demon possessing Regan is called Pazuzu.  The green vomit seen in the movie is actually green pea-soup!  The movie has two sequels to date, Exorcist II: The Heretic which is supposed to be a pretty bad movie (I haven't seen it), and The Exorcist III (which I thought was very good too).

Other Notes

I'd seen the original 1973 movie on tape some years before.  But I really couldn't remember much of it when watching it presently.  The version on which this review is based, is a print of the movie that I watched on HBO.  It's basically the digitally remastered, extended 2000 edition of the movie, which contains about ten minutes of previously unseen footage.  So on one hand the movie's supposed to be longer, on the other hand, it was censored for TV...

More Details

Running Time: 130 minutes | Country: US | Genre: Horror

Ratings Info

I rate all movies or game add-ons on a scale of 1 to 10 points.  1 is the lowest score, 6 is barely above average, 8 is good, and 10 is excellent (this score doesn't indicate something that is perfect in every way — it just means that I enjoyed it a lot).  You'll find that I tend to give ratings of 8 and above often (that's only because I enjoy whatever I'm reviewing!).  Reviews are updated as felt necessary.  Of course, everything said in these reviews is my humble opinion only.
Review Date 18 Mar 03
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The Author

Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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