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The Exorcist (DVD)
Member Name: D1A1
The Exorcist (DVD)
Date: 15/05/01, updated on 28/05/01 (890 review reads)
Advantages: Excellent film, Superb Acting, You'll get a lot out of it
Disadvantages: See opinion
I bought the DVD a few weeks back, and hadn’t been able to watch on my on and off faulty Wide-screen television, and so took the DVD player and connected it up to the living room 21inch normal TV. Right from the very start I knew this was going to be a psychological thriller – the disc has too sides, and so naturally I put it in side A only to reveal the director talking, so stopped it (assuming this would be the special features side) and turned the disc over, found the menu screen, adjusted the settings to suit the 4:3 screen and pressed ‘Play the Film’, and was instructed to flip the disc…hmm. A powerful presence grips you right from the very start as William Friedkin guides you into The Exorcist as he briefly talks about the film.
“Turn down the lights, turn up the sound & enjoy the digitally re-mastered version of The Exorcist’! The most shocking aspect of the film for me, was learning that it’s based on a true story – this is before the film, and I still hadn’t got a clue about how the film would be like. This immediately made me feel that this is a serious film – it’ll have meaning and depth and so when I write my review, I’m not going to make it humorous – something really did happen, and it was so shocking perhaps, that they made it into a film. The Mike Oldfield classic Tubular Bells music is used sparingly throughout the film, only starting up around 3 times I think – it’s a perfect accompaniment to suc
h an enthralling film, and has been known, somewhat unduly, as ‘The Exorcist tune’. Still, the film has great music – very powerful, emphasising the power of the movie.
The atmosphere of movie continues right the way through, leaving you transfixed, unable to turn away and leave – why would they need subliminal messages? From the starting scene, with diggers in Iraq excavating for ancient ornaments and pieces of history, as some people do. One man finds a certain piece, a head shaped demonic looking eroded object, no bigger than a fist. The way the people react, the music that starts up, and the look of the somewhat evil face lets you in on the secret that this is not a blessing by any means, and should definitely have been left untouched. This elderly man starts to have minor pains, taking his tablets and so forth, and then we’re whisked away to a scene with dogs fighting, two statues, a hazy sunset and the most atrocious noise, that really makes you feel quite ill, or maybe that was just me…This malevolent presence has been let out, and the film starts to play mind games with you the audience hinting at the traditional saying – don’t watch this on alone (unlike me)!
It just so happens to be set around the time of Halloween, a ‘celebration’ that our fellow Americans take far more seriously than ourselves, so you might think how convenient, but maybe that’s when it actually did take place. Anyway, we’re introduced to the family; the mother and her daughter Regan (Linda Blair) as well as a few other members & some housekeepers (she’s a film actress) living in a very pleasant environment, in a modern city, everything’s good, for now. The situation evolves and after the audience learns of the priest (Jason Miller) and training boxer and his own problems, the story starts to take place quite rapidly. It’s actually very difficult for me to be writing this review
, as strange noises take place around me, I’m alone, still ill, and having to re-write this as Microsoft Word kindly chose not to save the first one. Thanks Bill!
A quick mention about the camera crew, who manage to almost act as a viewpoint of another person, another presence, and now that this is on DVD, the picture quality is very impressive indeed, with superb sound and clarity. Right, already we see changes in the over-happy Regan as her mother finds her playing with the Ouija board game (NO!!!), claiming to have spoken to a captain something, I cannot remember which, naturally she’s not taken seriously, and so we move on. Whilst her mother prepares for her filming, many strange events take place, the ‘scratching’ in the attic, must be rats of course, the windows flying open, and soon enough it’s clear that this little girl is to become possessed by a spirit of evil, a curse perhaps, maybe even the devil itself. The Exorcist will shock, does disturb, and has the power to provoke every thought in your mind. It becomes incredibly intense, and so do not watch it if you don’t want to…
Whilst these strange phenomenon happening, the priest who has yet to meet the family, has his own troubles to contend with: a dying mother, whether he wants to continue practicing priesthood, as a psychologist also, he’s under pressure and his faith is being tested. I was quite shocked when a hospital scene where his mother is staying houses many lifeless people, drained and confused, they all want to be helped, and they seem to feel that the priest has a power to help them, maybe he does. This really scared me, as they are people in these conditions, in homes of neglect, and there’s not a lot that can be done. Drones. His mother dies, and training is the first way to get his mind off the emotional drop.
Meanwhile, bed shaking takes place, with Regan’s mother witnessing it, and she has now become p
artly possessed. This will disturb, and maybe even cause you to faint. Everything gets worse, I can’t really describe what happens, it’s too graphic and disgusting, but after many doctors visiting and extensive testing, they don’t realty know what’s happening. If you’re a hater of needles (or rather, completely terrified of them), then look away at times, they made me squirm, so don’t eat a lot before this one.
Rapidly moving on, you really have got to see this film, to appreciate how well produced, how authentic and faultless it really was. It seems as though nothing can save the little girl, and this roller coaster ride that they all go through is nasty, but the priest, the good priest is called in and starts to talk with the thing that possesses Regan (she had been strapped down for safety). The make up, the ‘special effects’ as such, are all brilliant, although disgusting. It all gets worse and worse, and eventually an exorcism has to happen – another priest is needed and get ready for some startling filming. I only hope that the real event, how ever different it may have been, wasn’t as bad as the film version.
“The attack is psychological & powerful – do not listen, do not listen!” “Have you ever heard of exorcism?” I noted these down for some reason, so they must be significant in the film, and the process, although at times does get a bit tiresome, will definitely stir you up big time. I’ll refrain from using any bad language, as there may be younger audiences reading this, but you can imagine what I thought at the time ‘****!!’ and alike.
The Exorcist is an excellent film, no matter how horrific on face value it may be, and the fact that this is based on a true event is probably the most disturbing part, but if you have the belief that good can triumph over evil, then you can take a lot from it. I do recommend you watch
the film, it’s not at all nice in parts, but you should really do so if you haven’t already.
Thanks for reading.