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the movie logo for The Exorcist.

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the movie logo for The Exorcist.

Cover your eyes for the scariest film of all time: The Exorcist

The  best horror film of all time (and still is) would be known as The Exorcist, which William Friedkin directed, and was written in the eyes of a visionary known as William Peter Blatty. The Exorcist  is the ninth highest grossing film in Canada and the U.S. with 110,599,200 estimated admissions.

Originally released in 1973, The Exorcist became the talk of the town during the 1970s. After its release on Christmas Day, everyone had traumatic experiences from watching the film. What was the whole buzz about? Why were people so terrified of the film?

How It Came To Be

Actually, The Exorcist was no ordinary horror film. There was some underlying research hidden under that inspired Blatty to write the book. The story line reflected on a 14 year old teenager in Missouri named Roland Doe, who was demonically possessed. Doe contacted his deceased aunt through a Ouija board which later transpired to horrific events later on in his life.

In his family home, there was strange noises, and mysterious acts of supernatural activity. A Lutheran minister said Doe was possessed, so he sent in two Catholic priests named Father Raymond J. Bishop and Father William J. Bowdern to exorcise the teenage boy at Georgetown University Hospital. They exorcised Roland Doe “30 times.” He displayed violent behavior and spoke Latin during the process. The words “evil” and “hell” were written all over his body.

The story of Roland Doe spread all over town. It gained much recognition. It had so much acknowledgement that this subject peaked Blatty’s interest and pursue making it into a novel, which later would be turned into a film that would horrify all of America’s audiences.

The Big Buzz

As I stated earlier, The Exorcist became extremely popular. However, why was that? In an article from History Today, “by March of 1974, the film sold six million tickets in the United States and was poised to sweep the world.” The novel was the stepping stone to creating such a widely acclaimed film. The Exorcist focuses on so many complex themes such as: evil against evil or all evils. The Exorcist’s complexity is what drove to make it such a high acclaimed movie.

Just after its release, there were some horrible cases going around town. People got ill or fainted. Some were institutionalized, and one person even had a miscarriage after watching the film. Many people went to go see it to figure out what the whole buzz was about. I could see why so many people’s ears rung when this movie got out of hand.

Overall Input

Before I state my overall input, I would like to say that this is not some family -friendly movie. The movie has some use of profanity, and there are also some inappropriate phrases said.

The Exorcist has its pros and cons. For the positive aspect of the film, I loved how Friedkin made the film disturbing. I know it sounds weird, but most horror films nowadays are just about jump scares, which really doesn’t achieve the overall horror concept.

Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) is the possessed little girl in the film. Her transformation of how she becomes possessed later on gives me the chills. The makeup is done brilliantly. Her face looks extremely pale and blotchy. She even has scars on her face, and her eyes are extremely terrifying; her eyes had bags and were wide and really green.

As for the negative aspect, I felt that the dramatic tone of Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) was over exaggerated. All the acting in the film felt stretched. It wasn’t convincing. I also felt the throwing of objects were ineffective in creating the special effects.

Besides its pros and cons, the film really achieved its “horror” aspect by disturbing the audience with certain scenes. Friedkin and Blatty did an excellent job in making this the most scariest film of all time. After watching it myself, I still feel disturbed.

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