Verdict: Well made
Good effects, mood, and general acting.
If you’ve noticed the movie categories that I have listed, you will see that there is no category for horror films. That is because I hate horror films. I don’t generally get scared that easily, and true enough I did not think The Exorcist was scary while watching it, but when you’re alone at night in the dark trying to sleep, it’s a whole different story. I had to sleep with a light on the first night after watching this, because all I think about when I try not to think about it is the film and the ugly demon’s face and whatnot. Even now I’m dreading writing this review. But putting the horror aside, this film was very well made.
Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) is an actress an single mother to Regan (Linda Blair). After moving to Washington, strange things seem to happen to Regan, with her developing a sort of split personality. While doctors continue to press that there is an issue in her brain, her mother is determined that something more has happened to Regan. Eventually, even the doctors recommend an exorcism, and Chris turns to Father Karras (Jason Miller) a priest and a psychiatrist for help. Karras is given help from Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) who has experience in the matter, and together they try to get rid of the demon in Regan. Directed by William Friedkin.
So, the acting once I think about it, is actually really good. Ellen Burstyn as the mother has really great expressions and her reactions are on point. I’m not actually sure how Linda Blair as Regan acted as the demon, but if that was her then she did a really good job too. (I try not to stare at them ugly horror faces, but the expressions and actions did seem demonic) Karras was another main character in this and he played the part of a distraught son and priest really well, torn between his duty and the loss of someone he loved.
The effects is also very good for its time. Made in the 70’s, the shaking of the bed to the make-up and telekinesis of objects seemed pretty real. Except for the vomit which just looked like green goo from Nickelodeon.
The mood of the whole film was also very well established with the beginning scene in Iraq/Israel? It laid the foundation for something ancient and kind of supernatural to come into the film. Also, Regan’s room is constantly cold and getting colder, I read somewhere that there was actually a layer of frost in the room due to them filming in real conditions.
And of course, let’s talk about gender. The daughter has to be the one invaded because ‘girls’ are vulnerable and open to penetration, and to being invaded. The demon entering her body is, if you think about it, kind of like rape. And the mother is a single parent who can’t do anything, and needs the help of men to save her daughter and her family.
PROS: Acting, effects, mood
CONS: Vomit, gender issues
I give this an 8/10.
Have you seen The Exorcist? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!
(This will go in the Thrillers category because I have no desire to create a category for Horror.)