Year: 1973 Director: William Friedkin
I barely recognised this film from the lurid scenes we’ve all seen in clip shows: those appearances on “100 Scariest Movies” etc do not do it justice. There are surprisingly subtle touches and an interestingly gradual pace, so the violent scenes take on greater horror as a result.
I was impressed with how it patiently covered varying aspects – medical, psychiatric, police, spiritual, adolescent emotions – albeit one missing aspect (which certainly wouldn’t have been left out these days) is the hint of child abuse?
The cast is pretty good for a 1970s horror film, but even so, when Max von Sydow strolls in, he dominates proceedings and basically gives an acting masterclass. I hadn’t appreciated what a short time he’s in the film, again having been misled by the oft-shown highlight clips.
You’re obviously meant suspend disbelief to enjoy the movie, but my main complaint is that it’s never clear how the Evil One can merrily rotate Regan’s head, levitate her whole bed and move furniture, but never free himself from being tied to the bed? The whole exorcism itself is a mix of powerful drama and cartoonish special effects, and I can’t help » Continue Reading.