Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Exorcist / The Exorcist Restored

Released: 1973
Reviewed: 1.10.10
Star rating: 5 out of 5

Ellen Burstyn (Chris), Max von Sydow (Father Merrin), Lee J Cobb (Lt. Kinderman), Jason Miller (Father Karras), Linda Blair (Regan).

(Call me lazy but this one review really works for both versions of the film).
If this horror classic doesn't terrify you, maybe you need a shrink. Movie actress Chris realizes an evil spirit may possess her daughter Regan. Against formidable odds two priests, Father's Merrin and Karras, try to exorcise the demon. A superb meditation about the nature of evil, The Exorcist was created with adults in mind and isn't appropriate for youngsters. (I didn't write that but took it from N-flix.) It just doesn't make much sense to review and revisit the plot here since this movie has been out so long, has been so popular (even today), and has been reviewed countless times.

What is unique about this version of the film is the extra 11 minutes of footage along with excellently restored/enhanced color and sound quality. I almost felt like the movie was made last year! Very nicely done. And even if you have seen this before it is worth seeing again for a single 5 second scene, Regan (Linda Blair) walking down the stairs backwards!! Made in 1973, that scene reminded me of the character movements popular right now in movies like The Ring and The Grudge! Absolutely awesome!

This was and I think will continue to be one of the great scary movies of all time. Although I'm not a huge fan, watching this one every few years brings me enjoyment and I continue to catch new details. This time it was the use of tokens in the background throughout the movie. There were several scenes with owls, turtles and other symbols both as part of the story and in the background scenery which I found quite interesting. I also found it amusing that although this movie is setup for sequels in several different ways the franchise really didn't endure after the first film.

Take the R rating on this one seriously. Graphic, violent, disturbing scenes are common is extremely descriptive vulgar language. This film really is for adults on several levels.

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