Review: The Exorcist (1973)

Happy Halloween!

I hope my fellow east coasters are doing okay after Sandy!

Fun fact about today’s review: I had never seen The Exorcist before.  My mother is very Catholic and downright refused to ever watch The Exorcist and basically instilled in me a huge fear of this movie for a very large part of my adolescent and teenage life.  But recently, I had to watch it for one of my classes.  So while watching this movie, I was essentially facing my fears.

The Exorcist tells the story of a little girl named Regan (Linda Blair), who becomes possessed by an unknown, evil entity.  After undergoing failed psychological testing, Regan’s mother seeks out the help of a priest to perform an exorcism on her daughter.

After I was done watching The Exorcist, I couldn’t help but think that my mother completely over exaggerated how scary this movie actually was.  I didn’t faint or go into hysterics while watching it!  But everything about the atmosphere of this movie made me feel very uneasy and disturbed and… scared.

If you’re expecting any jump scares or things of that nature, from what I watched, there are none in this movie, which I was actually relieved about.  The build up to everything is what makes this movie so frightening.  Be prepared for a lot of disturbing images and scenes (I watched this with my dad, so those moments were pretty awkward).  I had heard that the special effects and make up in this movie were corny.  Taking into consideration that this movie was made in 1973, I thought that they were great!

 

Cinematically, I thought The Exorcist was a beauty.  There are some really great shots in the movie.  Some that come to mind are the scene with the statue at the beginning, and the scene of Regan rising from the bed during the exorcism.

There are some things that I didn’t understand, mainly how and why the demon went from Iraq to Washington and why it possessed Regan.  I do want to go back and rewatch this movie again to see if I can answer those questions for myself.

Nearly 40 years later, and The Exorcist is still considered one of the scariest movies of all time.  I’m no expert on horror, but it is definitely one of the best scary movies I’ve ever seen.

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