What is the horror genre if not alluring? There is a charm to the way people aggressively hype up a scary film, with news articles going rampant that people are losing their minds in the cinema and how this ‘new’ horror film has terrified and captivated audiences around the world. However, none could ever reach the same fame that The Exorcist did back when it came out in 1973. This film terrified everyone to their core, it was more brutal and petrifying than what people had expected from it, and it got stuck with the title of the scariest movie of all time. What do I think of it? Well, read on.
How to Download The Exorcist
You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. Check out also other contemporary horror films – Evil Dead Rise, The Pope’s Exorcist, or Prey for the Devil.
The Movie Review
The Exorcist tells the story of a mother and daughter, where the daughter becomes possessed by a demonic entity. Two priests, Father Karras, and Father Merrin, work to free the daughter, Regan MacNeil, from the demon’s grasp. Alongside this, a police inspector investigates the strange occurrences surrounding the family. The priests risk their lives to uncover the mystery of the demon inside Regan and to try and save her soul from eternal damnation.
I had the opportunity to revisit The Exorcist, the 1973 horror classic that still reigns as one of the genre’s greatest achievements. Directed by William Friedkin and based on the novel by William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist tells the story at a slower tempo than what was common at the time.
The films were much faster, providing instant gratification to viewers back in the day, and yet this film decided to hold the story to a slow roasted pace. Due to this technique, when the horror kicks in, it kicks in quite aggressively.
The Exorcist wasn’t a regular horror film designed to scare its audience. Rather, it is an exploration of faith, morality, and the nature of evil. The film takes its time to delve into these themes, and it does so with a level of intelligence and nuance that was rare in the horror genre at the time. The Exorcist doesn’t intend to give you jump scares or atmospheric horror, it’s supposed to be a shocking, raw, almost gross experience that presents an utmost unflinching portrayal of evil. The film is filled with iconic dialogue that makes it memorable, and its filled with moments of pure horror goodness.
Linda Blair’s portrayal of Regan MacNeil, the possessed girl at the center of the story, is truly impressive. She convincingly transforms from a sweet and innocent child to a grotesque and menacing figure, contorting her body in ways that are nothing short of astonishing. Max von Sydow and Jason Miller also deliver incredible performances as the two priests tasked with saving Regan’s soul.
Von Sydow’s Father Merrin is a solemn and stoic figure, imbued with a sense of gravitas and wisdom that perfectly suits the character. Miller’s Father Karras, on the other hand, is a more conflicted figure, struggling with his own faith. Together, the performances in The Exorcist create a powerful cinematic experience, as the cast members play off each other fluidly.
An impressive element of the film’s production design is the use of practical effects. You can tell that the studio put money into this because they went to great lengths in creating realistic and gruesome effects.
Yes, this included the infamous scene in which Regan vomits a grotesque green substance, which was also completely practical. Not to mention, it boasts a number of memorable shots and techniques that have since become iconic in horror filmmaking. For example, the spinning camera during Regan’s possession, that sort of cinematography has become quite popular in horror films now.
Composed by Mike Oldfield, complements the film’s visuals perfectly, amplifying the sense of unease and terror throughout. The use of these haunting melodies in the film is a stroke of genius, as they set the tone for what you’re seeing on screen.
They set an atmosphere of a foreboding threat from the very beginning. The melody is simple yet effective, with its repeating notes creating a sense of unease that lingers long after the film has ended.
The Exorcist is a masterpiece of horror that continues to haunt and disturb audiences to this day. The film creates an immersive and terrifying experience by using its visceral and grotesque visuals, nuanced exploration of faith and evil, phenomenal picturization of its horrific atmosphere, and haunting score by Mike Oldfield. Not to mention, the incredible acting in the film, which adds to the experience even more.
The Exorcist is a film you cannot go wrong with, it’ll give you the frights for a while.
- Incredible performances from its cast, particularly Linda Blair as the possessed Regan MacNeil
- The film's exploration of faith and the nature of evil is both intelligent and nuanced
- The visuals, makeup, and practical effects for the film add to the visceral impact of the film
- The score by Mike Oldfield is haunting and memorable
- The film's iconic scenes and dialogue have become a part of pop culture
- The slow pacing of the film's first act may be a turnoff for viewers who prefer more action-packed horror films
- The ending of the film may be seen as abrupt or unsatisfying by some viewers