#16. The Exorcist (1973)

Day two of my Spooktacular Halloween Movie Marathon is packed with nightmarish thrills and eerie chills. I am definitely spooked but haven’t been caught hiding under my bed yet!

The-Exorcist_1974-cinema-now-playing-793x1024The Exorcist is arguably the film that engineered a new era of cinematic horror and ultimately transformed the genre. Released in 1973, The Exorcist quickly became a cultural phenomenon. It produced such a petrifying effect that many people were led to fits fainting, vomiting, and hysterics, needing paramedics on scene at theaters. Other moviegoers were so frightened that they left mid-screening. In both the story it told and the impact it made, The Exorcist retains it’s title as the ‘scariest movie of all time.’

The film was based on William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel of the same title, which was inspired by real life reports of a Maryland boy who was said to be demonically possessed. In the film adaptation, Ellen Burstyn stars as well-known actress, Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) who becomes increasingly terrified by her daughter Regan’s (Linda Blair) bizarre behavior. After intense examination by many doctors provided no explanation, Chris contacts Jesuit priest, Damien Karras, (Jason Miller), to perform an exorcism.

Just an adolescent when I first saw this film, my dad had to walk me to bed, as I was too frightened to go upstairs alone. It would continue to terrify me for the years following. On October 24th, 2015, I faced my long-time fear of this movie in the hopes that I could watch, sans paralyzing terror, and deliver an objective review. Here it is:  It was terrifying!! I still consider this one of the scariest movies I have ever seen—along with The Shining. I must admit though, the second viewing was not as bone-chilling as I remembered probably because special effects have come a long way since the 70’s coupled with less shock value.  But please, PLEASE don’t ask me to watch it again.

For any 20-somethings that think their life is tough right now, try being ANYONE in this movie. If you ever encounter a suspected possessed person—and are not performing the exorcism—DON’T GO INTO THE ROOM. I REPEAT: DO NOT GO INTO THE ROOM! Let’s try and use a little bit of common sense here.

This will haunt your dreams.

This will haunt your dreams.

My Rating: ★★

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