Horror Movie: The Exorcist (R; 1973; 122 min.)

Wow…another classic and also in my top 10 of scariest movies, The Exorcist features a very young Ellen Burstyn and the amazingly talented Linda Blair as mother and daughter caught up in something beyond the everyday scariness of psycho killers and religious fanatics. And because it’s supposed to be based on a true story, it’s even more spine-tingling.

Self-described as “not religious” (this is quite obvious since every other word out of Chris’ mouth is a cuss word), Chris and her daughter Regan live in Georgetown. Chris is a well-known actress while Regan is just a normal, sweet girl, just turned twelve, who loves horses and her mother dearly. But Regan starts saying things (in a gravelly, smoker’s voice dubbed over by Mercedes McCambridge) and behaving in ways no sweet 12-year-old girl does, and falls very ill. Chris takes her to doctors to discover the cause. They assure her it is a tumor or something, pressing against a part of her brain which makes her hallucinate and “levitate.” Huh? They then subject her to various tortuous medical procedures to find that nasty tumor.

Following the death of her boyfriend, who had been watching Regan for a few minutes while she was out, Chris becomes convinced (a mother knows these things, especially when your daughter’s eyes are yellowish-white, she projectile vomits green slime and she can make a bed rise and fall at will!) that Regan is possessed by an evil spirit.

As Regan becomes more and more crazed, spewing obscenities and displaying shocking sexual gestures at all who come near her, Chris searches out a priest who can perform an exorcism. Enter Father Damien (no, not Damien from The Omen), who finally convinces The Church that Regan is truly possessed and seeks out Father Merrin. Father Merrin has been in Iraq on a geological dig, where he discovered an unusual medallion that seems to somehow be connected to this devilish presence, though I’m never quite sure how that all ties together. Anyway, he’s the go-to priest for exorcisms in the area, apparently, so he and Father Damien prepare themselves and begin. The final showdown has begun: Good vs. Evil.

And what a showdown it is! As Regan’s head spins around (yes, all the way), she spews yet more green slime and shocking obscenities, and her lips become even more cracked and parched, if that’s possible. Plus, she levitates even higher this time! And the room grows cold as a freezer…colder and yet even colder! The special effects of these final 3o minutes are not to be missed! Who will win in the end? Will good triumph or will evil prevail? You must watch and decide for yourself!

  • Top Scare: Excorcism
  • Heartbeats: 4 out of 5
  • Gore Factor: 4 out of 5
  • Suspense Factor: 3 3/4 out of 5
  • Psycho Factor: 4 out of 5
  • Recommended for: 17 and up for sure!

Next up: An American Haunting


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