Max Von Sydow, Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, etc.
When the original version of this movie came out in 1973,
it terrified viewers with its disturbing images and horrific
sounds. Based on the novel by William Peter Blatty, the Exorcist
told a tale of a young girl (Blair) who becomes possessed
by the devil. When her malady becomes evident, her mother
(Burstyn) takes her to various doctors, hoping that science
will cure her. After all avenues of aid have been exhausted,
she goes to the church, when she convinces Father Karras (Jason
Miller) to help her.
The Exorcist is a testament to creating a dark and fear-inducing
atmosphere without sacrificing the characters and their interaction.
Each person has an inherent humanity in them that the viewer
can find in themselves. Any mother could easily empathize
with Burstyn as she tries to find some solution to her daughter's
problem without accepting that something out of the norm is
Where the Exorcist really excels is in its' growing terror,
which builds to the final climax, the actual exorcism. Many
movies who have followed have tried to imitate the growing
terror, but have been heavy-handed about. While certain scenes
are appalling and disturbing, interludes between these scenes
still inject a nervous, growing fear.
In this redone version, over 11 minutes of footage has been
added. Unlike other movies, though, the footage is excellently
integrated into the flow of the movie and actually gives the
viewer a greater idea of the characters and their own tumultuous
lives. The added footage actually adds a greater depth to
The Exorcist in the cream of the crop when it comes to intelligent
horror stories. This slow-moving ride is both an excellent
story and character play. Devoid of overdone slasher violence
and poor plot twists, the Exorcist is everything that a terrifying,
smart horror story should be.