Day 11: The Exorcist
One of our first heavy hitters. The first time I watched The Exorcist, I wasn’t impressed. I was maybe 20 or 21 at the time. We rented it when Sarah‘s family lived in Paducah and watched it with her brothers. I didn’t understand all the fuss. Then I went to sleep. I didn’t have nightmares per se, but my dreams were a convoluted mess, leaving me unable to make heads or tails of them, but leaving me with the feeling of dread.
I attributed it to the movie, but didn’t really dwell on it. My mind kept wandering back to Regan’s raspy voice, the claustrophobic feel of her room, Father Karras’ doubt, and her mother’s utter contempt and fury at being unable to help her daughter. Naturally, the genius of the film was working on me. The Exorcist is usually in the top three of all time lists for the best horror movies ever made, often in the top spot.
So, what’s it all about? A demon possessed girl and her exorcism. Yes, it really is that simple. Now, the film follows the entire possession, start to finish. It shows the evolution of Father Karras and his inner demons, no pun intended. We see Father Merrin, aware of the demon possessing Regan, ready to do battle again. It’s uneasy viewing at worst, and a masterpiece at best. I vote masterpiece.
If you want a real treat, find the audiobook version read by William Peter Blatty (the author). His voice with this work is superb and a perfect fit.
Check out the television series on Fox as well. It has just entered into its second season and I can’t recommend it enough.