Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Exorcist (1973)

So today I received my new Netflix dvd in the mail (I get most of my movies from the library).  My husband opened it and this was his reaction:

He has now run out of the house and says he won't come back until I text him that I'm done reviewing the film.  I tried desperately to coax him back into the house because I care:

What film could have caused him to run away in fear?  In case you missed the title, it's The Exorcist!  This film is actually pretty deep with several elements so I'll just touch on a few.  This film skillfully combines the ancient fear of demons and possession with modern day technology and places it in an everyday setting. First of all, I was impressed by the special effects and the "subliminal" images.  Those are the images of the demon that flash up periodically to scare you.  Also, the possessed girl, Regan's head spins around in a complete circle.  That was neat!  They actually had three different beds that would throw her around in different ways.  They went all out in special effects.

Linda Blair (Regan) and her robotic double

It takes a while for the demon to possess Regan and for her mother to figure out what's going on.  First, they hear animal noises in the attic and Regan appears to have an invisible friend.  Later, her mom thinks she may have an illness or mental disorder and takes her to the hospital.  I saw many "subliminal" demons in the hospital and had no idea that they had cat scans that long ago.  After all other possibilities have been eliminated, she must be possessed by a demon.  Why would a demon possess a child and not an adult that could do damage?  If he would have possessed an adult and then murdered people, then people would attribute to murders to the serial killer and not believe that it was caused by anything else.  A child, on the other hand, is innocent and the demon caused great distress to her family by hurting her.  This is much different from The Omen where the child is a devil himself.

Their are two priests who come to Regan's rescue.  One is Father Merrin, who is older and has just returned from an archaeological dig.  The other is Father Karras, a psychiatrist and priest who is losing his faith as he deals with his mother's illness.  The demon has a history with Merrin and wants to kill him for trying to exorcise him before.  The second Karras leaves the room, the demon has his chance and Merrin dies of what appears to be a heart attack.  Karras is so angry that he demands that the demon enter him.  The sound of the demon leaving Regan's body is acutally the sound of pigs being led to slaugher.  While the novel and movie were based on a sensationalist news article, this part was based on the Bible, specifically Mark 5:1-20.  Jesus exorcises demons from a man who ask to let them possess another body.  Jesus lets them possess the bodies of a herd of pigs, which then run off a cliff and die.  Sure, that's a weird story, but pigs are unclean (not kosher) animals, and Karras with his troubled faith believes he is unclean as well.  After the demon enters him and his eyes change color (like Regan's did), he leaps out of the window to his death.  I found this movie interesting and will give it an 8/10.

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