The Exorcist The Version You've Never Seen
Starring:
Max Von Sydow, Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, etc.
Directed By:
William Friedkin
Grade
A

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 going on.

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 story.

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.

- - Kinderfeld

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