A To Z – The Exorcist

Last October after watching all the movies on TV before Halloween, I got the idea to do an A to Z on horror movies. I also have a story premise in the back of my head involving horror movies, so this fits into my research for that. So I’m going to talk about random horror movies.
First, I am no film critic, just a person who likes horror movies. And second, some of the posts may contain spoilers. So you have been warned.

The Exorcist (1973)
IMDb Summary: When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Cheese factor: Low
Gore factor: Low
Creep factor: Medium
Could it happen? Naw
The Exorcist: One of those movies everybody’s heard of. Sequels, copycats, remakes, parodies. Even if you don’t like horror movies, you probably know the name. I think I saw it years ago, maybe junior high, but I didn’t recognize the movie right away.
Oh my goodness gracious, it was so damn slow at the beginning, I almost fell asleep. Total yawn.
The funny thing was that this movie starts out in Northern Iraq (I think it was there.) At first I was like, did I put the wrong movie in? I actually checked, because it didn’t fit in with my memories of the Exorcist. And it makes me wonder if I actually saw it. Or if I saw a remake or a parody. I just don’t remember.
The last ¼ is good, but that’s a lot of boring, dragging stuff to get through in the first ¾. Of course the last ¼ is when the girl is totally possessed by the demon.
The thing about this movie is, I’m curious about what happened when it came out. Was there a huge outcry from the Church? Priests are killed during the movie and even I was shocked at the vulgar words (directed at the priest) that came out of the girl’s mouth when she was possessed. It was in the voice of the demon, not the girl, which kinda makes it look funny, but seriously, if that actress was my daughter I would’ve have let her seen her own movie until she was 18.
So I’m curious if this was a mainstream movie that played at the theaters, or if the release was quiet at first and the following grew over the years. Anybody old enough to remember the early 70s? (I wasn’t born when this movie came out.)
Unfortunately, this is one movie I wouldn’t recommend. The demon possession stuff didn’t bother me, but it was so utterly slow… I would’ve stopped it if I had just been watching it for fun and not the A to Z.
Have you seen it?

13 Responses

  1. I haven’t seen it, not gonna. Devil stuff scares the poop out of me because, yes, I believe that stuff happens cuz I’ve witnessed it. And no thanks to sleeping with the light on.

  2. I was probably supposed to watch this one in film school and skipped the screening. But I do think it’s interesting how older movies take a lot more time with the set up, in a way modern audiences would find really boring. Highly indicative of our ADD, AD/HD culture that requires constant input and stimulation.

  3. A lot of horror films use the slow/exposition almost boring beginning as a way to show how completely unnatural the horror really is. In the case of the Exorcist, I believe the purpose of the slow beginning is to show you how normal Reagan is. That she is just a typical pre-teen. That way when you see the possession you really see how her innocence is defiled.

    I love your self challenge! Horror films are one of my favorite genres.

  4. Random, but if you’re still in the E horror movie kick try Evil Dead. The remake was just released today but the original is a horror classic. It’s a bit on the campy side – lots of fake blood in gushes – and the sequels really take the comedy side.

    It’s on Netflix streaming if you have that, and perhaps on the other streaming services.

  5. I watched this and it scared me so bad! Anything with possession stuff scares me though. So why do I continue to watch and read that stuff? Idk lol

  6. It was released in theaters like any other movie. i think people who would have been horrifically offended at priests being cursed at simply didn’t go to see it.

    I agree with you about the low beginning but once it gets going I think it’s one of the scariest movies ever made.

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