Have you been sleeping too much? Need something to keep you up at night? This is the movie for you. This movie, what a classic. The Exorcist is about a young girl, Regan who lives with her starlet mother, Chris who is just wrapping up her most recent film. Regan starts to exhibit strange and violent behaviour which leads to a whole host of medical testing that never seem to pinpoint what is the matter with her. The medical testing bits are actually harder for me to watch than the body horror, there is this scene where a doctor is putting an IV in her neck and blood is squirting everywhere – gag. Anyway, Regan starts to say and do wildly bizarre things including peeing on the floor and spewing vulgarities. One evening, a friend of Chris’s is left to babysit Regan and mysteriously falls to his death and it is at this point that Chris starts to wonder about pursuing other avenues of treatment for her disturbed daughter.
Enter Father Damien Karras, who is probably the saddest excuse for a priest that I have even seen. He recently lost his ailing mother and the man’s spirit is totally defeated, he is in no shape to be performing an exorcism. He calls on Father Lankester Merrin to lead the exorcism, a super frail priest with medical ailments who is also in no shape to be vanquishing demons. The two attempt to cast the demon Pazuzu out of Regan which becomes a long, vulgar, arduous process. Pazuzu bests Merrin and Karras, realizing that he cannot defeat the demon, invites it to possess him instead and ultimately perishes as well.
In the final scene, we see a seemingly blissful Regan and frazzled Chris departing Georgetown. This movie received a lot of criticism, it is pretty vulgar and there are parts of it that are very hard to watch. That being said, I have watched a couple of documentaries that paint the making of the film to be just as disturbing as the film itself. If you haven’t seen this film, it is worth a watch in your lifetime if only to see what every other exorcism film borrows from. If you can see it in theater, I would definitely recommend!
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