Dipping back into my own personal collection this time, to talk about one of my all time favourites.
Oh man you guys, I finally get to write about my absolute favourite horror movie of all time. I wasn’t sure when I was going to get around to this one, but Halloween this year brought on my annual Horror Marathon, and this one was included. So, lets get around to it, this is The Exorcist.
When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.
It’s one of those stories we’ve become pretty familiar with with movie after movie full of possession stories. They all have the tendancy to have very similar elements, and this is the movie where these tropes and story elements come from. Time after time we see movies try and cash in on the things that made this one of the greatest horror films of all time.
First off, the movie itself has aged extremely well. More than 40 years later, this movie delivers the same level of fear, tension and atmosphere that it did. This is the movie that haunted people for years, caused hysteria and nervous breakdowns. A definite fixture in the history of horror. Even people who have never seen it, know the references and scenes that have made the movie famous.
The actors also deliver some absolutely dynamite performances. Particularly we have to talk about Linda Blair. She was only 13 when she performed as one of the most iconic characters of all time. She mentioned that during some of the scenes (including the crucifixtion masturbation scene) she wasn’t given a ton of context and didn’t really know what was happening until much later. She’s absolutely phenomenal in the role, and her transformation from Regan to the demonic presence is so huge and incredible for a girl her age, and as an actor in general.
We also have wonderful performances from Ellen Burstyn (Requiem For A Dream), Max von Sydow (Minority Report) and of course Jason Miller (Rudy). I think in a parrallell dimension, Jason Miller is a much more elequent Sylvester Stallone. They could be brothers. Anyways, all of the actors are just absolute dynamite and do a lot to contribute to the overall feel of the movie.
Not to mention the incredible age makeup applied to Max von Sydow, for years I had just assumed that he was played by an old man. However, Max was around 40 and the make up for him is just incredible. Speaking of the make up, the design for Regan’s transformation is fantastic and very unsettling.
The tone and effects in this movie are great as well, from the subliminal editing, to the beautiful practical effects, this movie holds up so well and delivers some of the most genuinely frightening moments I can remember. Expertly directed by William Friedkin and written together by Friedkin and William Peter Blatty, who wrote the novel (Which I also give an extremely strong recommendation, read that effing book)
All in all, everytime I watch this movie it further solidifies my love for the movie. It’s genuinely frightening, and tells a story that is interesting and engaging from beginning to end. If you’re new to horror, or just looking to check out the classics, this is a MUST-WATCH for everyone.
FINAL GRADE : A+