A priest arrives at a house to perform an exorcism on a demon-possessed
number of decent films that follow a single-sentence plotline
you could probably count on one hand. People talk about a
conjunction of events which inspire greatness; It's no exaggeration
to say this was one such moment. The Exorcist is an
out and out bonafide thoroughbred classic.
said that, it's a like it or loathe it movie. If you accept
the fact that it's a very well-constructed experience, I can
see only two reasons why certain individuals might dislike
it: either seeing it as a form of blasphemy, or objecting
to the profanities and sexual connotations (namely the crucifix
scene). The Exorcist is almost documentary-like in
style, with many quick response/reaction cuts which prove
shocking and lend the events a stark realism. Mike Oldfield's
Tubular Bells score adds the chill factor.
Scenes from this film have been parodied in two or three subsequent
flicks, proving its place in entertainment folk lore, but
the original is not a film you can watch again and again.
I thinks it's fair to say you don't even enjoy watching it;
you just can't help appreciating its compelling nature. You
need the right temperament, especially as the film ends on
in the great extras package are two separate feature commentaries
by author William Peter Blatty and director William Friedkin.
There are interviews, sketches and storyboards, trailers and
TV spots, and a superfluous unused end scene. However, the
"Fear of God" documentary tells you everything you wanted
to know but where afraid to ask: several deaths, a fire-burned
set, Friedkin the hard taskmaster, and much more.
remastered, with Dolby 5.1 surround audio, this should be
prominent in everyone's dvd collection. It's a two-sided disc,
but that's a minor gripe. Did I mention it was a classic?
Lamont is instructed to investigate what happened to Merrin,
the exorcist from the first film. A machine which links two
people under hypnotism is being tested by Doctor Tuskin, who
is attempting to rid Regan of her nightmares. Through Regan
Lamont traces back the evil to an African village and a boy
healer whose demon was cast out. Regan is discovered to be
one of many child healers who have been attacked by the demon
of the cult of locusts...
Let me start by saying I'm torn on Exorcist
II: The Heretic.
After the near perfection of the first film I found myself
looking for faults. They're not difficult to find if you look
hard enough: some dry acting in parts, over-sentimental music
from Ennio Morricone (not his proudest achievement - perhaps
he was possessed by John Williams!), and some inexplicable
Heretic isn't a conveyor-belt turkey sequel, it just tries
too hard. Whereas the James Cameron film Aliens assumes
many people had seen its precursor and so set out to make
an original and better story, this film relies too heavily
on the first. It falls easily into the trap of becoming bogged-down
in back story and exposition. A complicated plot and lots
of special effects does not a good film make, as Yoda might
Burton, after a lethargic start, portrays his character well,
Max Von Sydow reprises his role from The
in new flashback scenes, and James Earl Jones is marvellously
understated in his minor role. Director John Boorman is no
slouch, as anybody who has seen the excellent Excaliber
will testify, but there is none of the original gritty realism.
Lieutenant William Kinderman (not Scott, as it says on the
back of this pack) is investigating a spate of killings with
religious connections. The m.o. is identical to the Gemini
Killer who was executed in the electric chair years previously
- right down to unreleased inside information. When fingerprints
fail to tie-up at the scenes, it's thought that there may
be more than one killer. However, the lieutenant discovers
a man in a secure ward to be Legion, possessed by many evil
spirits, including the Gemini Killer and the tortured soul
of Father Damien Karras (whose career in the church went so
dramatically down hill in the first film)...
is so much better. An exciting murder mystery with a supernatural
slant. There is only the most tenuous of connections to earlier
events, and this allows the film to succeed on its own merit.
Unlike the first sequel, William Peter Blatty returns to the
writing and even takes on the director's chair. The earlier
parts of the story are well handled with some dry but humorous
banter exchanged between the lieutenant and his old friend
Father Dyer. In fact George C. Scott is utterly convincing
as Kinderman; abrupt one moment, quiet and distant the next.
Viewers might also just recognise Brad Dourif, The Gemini
Killer, as the voice of Chucky in the Child's play movies.
religious aspect has to be neatly explained towards the end
of the film: in this case, revenge for the original exorcism.
However, this entails a certain amount of demon activity,
and this is where things become a little untidy. Not in the
sense of the script, you understand, but with gore as another
priest gets it, and climatic special effects which are quite
unnecessary. By then the movie has already made its point.
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