Scary Movie Countdown: The Exorcist (1973)

Posted by Barry | Sunday, October 30th 2011

‘The Exorcist’ (1973)

For almost 40 years now, one film has remained on the top of everyone’s list when it comes to naming a scary movie.  Of course, I am talking about William Friedkin’s 1973 masterpiece ‘The Exorcist‘ which still terrifies viewers today as much as it did back then.

The Exorcist‘ (based off the novel by William Peter Blatty) is about a young girl named Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) who shows increasingly bizzarre behavior until, ultimately, she is believed to be possessed by a demon spirit.  Her mother (Ellen Burstyn) recruits Father Karras (Jason Miller) to help exorcise the entity from her daughter, but Father Karras has lost much of his faith in the Church.  So, Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) is called upon for assistance in this desperate time of need.  Together with Karras, Merrin must face the enemy he had battled once before, long ago.

The imagery, violence, language and subject matter of this film is incredibly detailed in a way that had never been seen in a motion picture at the time of its release.  Powerfully well-acted, amazingly well told.  ’The Exorcist‘ truly does terrify you in a way that nothing ever has, or possibly ever will.  Check out our ‘The Exorcist’ Sound Quotes Collection page, cast those unclean spirits out!

Pop Quiz, Hotshot:  Did you know that Christian evangelist Billy Graham thought that an actual demon resided within the frames of this film?  Literally, in the celluloid frames of the reel.  In addition to that one film patron, upon seeing the film on its initial release, fainted and broke his jaw in the theater.  He sued Warner Bros. and they settled out of court.


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