The Complete Anthology is a box set containing all five
instalments in The Exorcist series of films. The movies
are listed and packaged in chronological order, so that the
original effectively becomes the third here. As I have previously
reviewed each of the DVD releases separately, it falls to
me to tell you a little about what you're purchasing. For
more detailed information see my reviews for The
Exorcist Trilogy Box Set,
Exorcist: The Beginning,
- Prequel to The Exorcist. But here's a brief
guide to each of the films.
- The Prequel follows a younger Father Merrin who has
lost his faith after an incident during the war. On an archaeological
dig in East Africa he uncovers an ancient Christian church.
But the structure had been buried for a reason, and now an
age-old evil is free to escape. Merrin must rediscover his
faith to confront the entity. The best of the bunch aside
from The Exorcist itself.
The Beginning is essentially the same script as Dominion
but with an inferior and less subtle approach. This more violent
version was favoured with a theatrical release, but when box
office takings proved disappointing, Dominion (the
better film in the first place) was rushed straight to DVD.
Nevertheless, The Beginning is not as woeful an event
as many critics would have you believe, it simply is not fit
to wear The Exorcist name.
Exorcist, the original William Friedkin film, is pretty
much faultless as a pristine slice of cinematic history. It
stands the test of time well, and you still feel slightly
uneasy watching it today, due to its almost documentary feel.
In other words, it doesn't seem like fiction at all. Father
Merrin attempts to cast out the evil from a demon-possessed
girl. The Fear of God documentary is a fascinating discussion
of on- and offset events.
II - The Heretic, John Boorman's sequel, has Father Lamont
investigating what happened to Merrin, while the child Regan
is having her nightmares studied. An unnecessarily complicated
story involving the cult of locusts, which relies heavily
on back story and then tries to make-up for it with a few
special effects. Not a bad film, but leagues below its predecessor.
Exorcist III has The Exorcist writer William Peter
Blatty returning to the fold to both write and direct this
sequel which is set immediately after The Exorcist.
Lt. Kinderman investigates a series of religious killings.
This is quite a good film, well acted, and very different
from the others. However, it does get messy at the end when
explanations are obliged to tie events in with the previous
any Exorcist nut this is an essential purchase, if
you don't already have them from previous retail releases.
For anyone simply curious about the near perfection that is
The Exorcist, I would advise them to buy that film
alone, purely for the sake of cutting costs.