In my humble opinion this is a masterpiece although there are those out there (I am looking at the Mad woman in the attic) who disagree.
It may be over hyped and endlessly parodied however it is still one of the best horror films of all time and one of the most controversial.
Creepy, nasty and shocking this film gets under your skin whether you are troubled by the questions of religion or not. See it and make your own mind up.
I’m afraid I have something to admit…I saw The Exorcist at the cinema in the late 90s when it had a re-release, and I just wasn’t that bothered about it.
OK, there were good creepy moments, but the main substance of the film – questions of faith, Regan’s exorcism – didn’t do anything for me. Part of the problem I think is that it has been shown and parodied so much it is next to impossible to come to the film now without superficially knowing a lot about it.
Added to this, I do think it makes a big difference whether or not you believe in God.
When I watched it, I felt very much that my lack of religious feeling made it very difficult for me to be shocked or disturbed by what was going on. For the same reason, I found The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976) horrible towards the end, but not remotely scary.
Saying all this however, I do feel as though I’m probably wrong and it needs a second chance.
There is no doubt that the film has been over-parodied and over-hyped, almost to destruction. But to appreciate this film, you have to detatch yourself from all that, and try to watch it through the same fresh eyes as they did back in ’73.
Okay, this film isn’t going to make you pass out with fear, but the performances are compelling, with the actors really making the tales seem far more real and chilling.
For some reason, films of this era always have a big effect on me. I’m not sure if it’s the cool use of lighting, the retro syth music, or the fact that I’m reminded of seeing them as a child.
After all this time, this film is still far in front of a majority of modern horror flicks when it comes to suspense, story, originality and script.
Additional film information: The Exorcist (1973)