Monday, October 11, 2010

The Exorcist (1973)

Director: William Friedkin

Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow, Lee J Cobb

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Something beyond comprehension is happening to a little girl on this street, in this house. A man has been called for as a last resort to try and save her. That man is The Exorcist.

Plot: When a teenager is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Sure.

#12 of 31 Days of Horror 2010.

I've never understood the reasons why this is regarded as the greatest (or scariest) horror movie of all time. Perhaps if I caught this in '73 my opinion would be different. Perhaps if I were a staunch Catholic or hard core religious person. That I'm a non-believer probably doesn't figure into it too much as I don't believe in ghosts, for example, yet I LOVE a good ghost story. As an avid movie freak I'm constantly suspending my disbelief.

It's a well-crafted movie. I really dig the cinematography, performances (especially Miller's), music (and lack of) and special effects. The visual effects still look real and convincing and the sound and voice work for Regan are top notch. I would have preferred the film to end with the priest looking down the stairway and turning away (cue music and credits). The "happy" coda felt Hollywood and tacked on. I prefer a darker finale (as if it weren't dark enough, right?).

It's rare that I ever get creeped out by a movie. I haven't been genuinely frightened by one in probably 25-30 years and that really sucks. I want to be scared but it's not as if I'm disappointed if this (or any other) doesn't deliver the goods on that level. I've seen this before and I'll see it again but I simply cannot see it on a scale that most do.

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