Stars: Linda Blair, Max Von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller
When the Exorcist was originally released 25 years ago it caused outrage and panic to the point that certain people needed counselling after seeing it. Compared to films nowadays it is not actually very violent. It is however a very powerful and scary film which is only let down slightly by the dull beginning sequence set in Iraq.
In Washington DC Regan (Blair) seems like any other pre-teen girl until her behaviour starts to go from unusual to plain neurotic. Her bed shakes, she growls in a demonic voice, and a friend of her mother is found dead, at the bottom of the stairs outside Regan’s window with a rather unusual injury.
Enter Father Karas (Miller) who after examining the increasingly violent Regan, and hearing her mention his recently deceased mother becomes convinced that Regan is fact possessed. Father Merrin (Von Sydow) is enlisted to carry out an exorcism with the assistance of Karas.
What follows is a brilliantly executed battle of good vs. evil as Merrin and Karas try to drive the spirit of the devil out of Regan’s body. She spits, swears, screams and somehow manages to levitate herself. The amazing thing is that it is all done in such a way as to make it totally believable.
The acting and cinematography are superb making this one of the most realistically terrifying films ever. To compare it to other horror films such as Scream would be unfair, as this is so much more. The Exorcist is undoubtedly a classic, and it is only a shame that the majority of people our age have been unable to see it until now due to the BBFC video ban that is still in place.