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Films to See Before You Die: #39 The Exorcist


The Exorcist (1973)

Director: William Friedkin

Cast: Jason Miller, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow

Synopsis: Chris Macneil (Ellen Burstyn), a movie actress taking up temporary residence in Washington D.C. has her troubles. The script for the movie she’s filming seems inadequate. Her ex, who is also the father of her adolescent daughter, Regan (Linda Blair), neglects to call the girl on her birthday. And the attic has rats. Once Regan starts to exhibit some very strange behaviour Chris takes her to a doctor who just chalks it up to A.D.D. Meanwhile, Father Karras (Jason Miller), a priest and a psychiatrist, is losing his faith; and he’s dealing with a sick mother who needs medical care he hasn’t the money to provide. Regan is steadily getting worse by speaking in different languages with new voices and also becoming very violent. Fed up with nowhere else to turn Chris finds Father Karras and asks his help and even brings up exorcisms which haven’t been performed by the church for centuries. After visiting Regan it is clear to Father Karras that this is beyond his expertise and consults the church who then send Father Merrin (Max von Sydow), has just returned from Iraq and has experience performing exorcisms. It becomes clear to both Father Merrin and Father Karras that in order drive out this evil force in Regan they may be forced to sacrifice themselves.

Trivia: On the first day of filming the exorcism sequence, Linda Blair’s delivery of her foul-mouthed dialogue so disturbed the gentlemanly Max von Sydow that he actually forgot his lines. The demon that possesses Regan MacNeil is named Pazuzu in the script, but this name is never mentioned in any cut of the film. During the film Pazuzu lies to Father Damien Karras claiming to be the Devil/Satan. Conversations with Father Lankester Merrin show this claim to be false.

Why I think you should see this: This is the greatest horror film of all time and one of my favourites movies as well. It is just so effective it is not as much scary as it is creepy. There is also a very realistic film you actually feel like the characters are really going through this. A classic check it out sometime.


About Trevor

Hi my name is Trevor and this is my blog! Films are a passion of mine. I am a total film geek. I own over 700 films and the collection is ever growing. I studied Film Studies and Scriptwriting in College. What I have learned about films is mostly self taught.

4 responses to “Films to See Before You Die: #39 The Exorcist

  1. jmount43 ⋅

    You can not call yourself a true horror film fan if you have never seen The Exorcist.

  2. Susan

    Love this movie! My husband has no stomach for horror movies but decided to watch it with me one day….he didn’t make it very far in the movie…said it was the most disgusting thing he has watched…now that’s an endorsement!

  3. rochpikey

    Solid choice here. This is one of rare those horror movies where you never forget the first time you see it because of how creepy and well done it is. Whenever people tell me they just saw it for the first time they’re always disappointed they had not seen it sooner.

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