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The Exorcist

by

Jeff Nelson

As William Friedkin once said, turn off the lights, turn up the sound, and enjoy The Exorcist.

The Exorcist
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Years after The Exorcist was theatrically released, it was rereleased onto the big screen for a different generation on September 30, 2010. After all those years later, those who heard it was the scariest movie of all time went in and claimed the film is funny and not worth the hype. What's wrong with some people?

When movie actress Chris MacNeil begins to suspect that an evil spirit has possessed her young daughter, Regan, she calls in two priests to try and exorcise the demon against all odds. There have been so may exorcism films that they have started to become stale. There's absolutely no doubt that The Exorcist is the best out there. Unlike modern films, there aren't any loud jump out scenes with a loud sting, but rather takes its time with character development. The dialogue is written extremely well. Watching Regan slowly falling under possession and Chris beginning to fall apart is expressed perfectly. The fact that this film won an Oscar for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay should prove that this film is well-written.

The screenplay isn't the only thing that got an Oscar nod. Actresses Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair both got nominations. Ellen Burstyn gives a fantastic performance as Chris and does great with the emotional scenes. She makes the viewer feel very sympathetic for her character and everything she has to endure. Linda Blair is tremendous in this film. Her performance as Regan is close to perfect. Once she is under all of the make-up for the possession scenes, she becomes the demon so well that it feels all too real. From reciting vulgar dialogue to facial expressions, no one could have done Regan any better.

For the most part, the atmosphere and the sets are fairly plain. All of the times that the film makes you feel uncomfortable is created by the dialogue and Linda Blair. This film doesn't need the creepy atmosphere to be eerie. Of course, the FX have dated by now, but they're not too bad. The make-up that Blair wears when she becomes possessed couldn't have been better.

Even though The Exorcist came out in 1973, it aged well. There are many classics that were terrifying back in its day and are now tacky and pathetic. Luckily, this film is still enjoyable and creepy after all these years. This is what's called slow-burn horror and isn't what many people expecting pop-out scares will appreciate. The Exorcist is one of the greatest horror films of all time and one of the scariest of its time that will not ever be forgotten. As William Friedkin once said, turn off the lights, turn up the sound, and enjoy The Exorcist.

My Rating = Five Stars

Next movie: The Exorcist II
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