This movie doesn't rush itself. It slowly builds up until you just can't take it anymore. This is high art. All the people involved in this movie should be rightly proud. It will outlast anything else in the Genre. I know Linda Blair's career has paid a price for this but very few great actors have ever made a movie as great as this one. I would rank it in the top 10 of all time easy, maybe even top 5. That being said I watched this version only once. I will not buy this film, or rent it again yet if it is on TV I watch it, in fact I am irresistably drawn to it; Why, becasue it scares me!
You would think that at 39 years old and a life full of real things to deal with a movie 30 years old wouldn't do that: You'dd think wrong.
This movie not only scares me it is the ONLY movie that still does. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm a Roman Catholic and I believe this is not out of the realm of reality, but what really seems to get me is in this movie THE DEVIL WINS!
What most people don't understand is that the devil even possessing the girl can't steal her soul in the act. The attack is more directed toward the family and the Excorcist himself. Will he have the faith to keep up, to do the rite again and again and again. With they have what it takes to outlast the demon. Fr Karas does not. He willingly accepts the devil into himself and thus gives Satan the actual win he is looking for. In that actual case the movie is loosely based on the Excorcism lasted for months until the demon was finally driven out. The victory of evil in this movie is very visable to me. How it is not noted by others more often is beyond me.
(I have this fantasy of the final scene where Father Merrin is on the floor and all is about to be lost when the door opens and George Burns in his fishing hat walks in [Reference Oh God series] slowly to the Amazement of Fr. Karos and the Horror of the demon. That happy ending allowed me to sleep many times in my younger days.)
Buy it if you dare.
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An elderly Jesuit priest named Father Lankester Merrin is leading an archaeological dig in northern Iraq and studying ancient relics. Following the discovery of a small statue of the demon Pazuzu (an actual ancient Sumerian demigod) and a modern-day St. Joseph medal curiously juxtaposed together at the site, a series of omens alerts him to a pending confrontation with a powerful evil, which unknown to the reader at this point, he has battled before in an exorcism in Africa. Meanwhile, in Georgetown, a young girl named Regan MacNeil living with her famous actress mother, Chris, becomes inexplicably ill. After a gradual series of poltergeist-like disturbances, she undergoes disturbing psychological and physical changes, appearing to become "possessed" by a demonic spirit.
After several unsuccessful psychiatric and medical treatments, Regan's mother turns to a local Jesuit priest. ...