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Day 21: The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist is one of those movies that is just not messing around.  It’s one of those movies that you hear about growing up that you know you should avoid.  It’s got a reputation, and that reputation is well-deserved.  The movie’s central character is Regan (Linda Blair) who has apparently been possessed by a demon.  Demonic possession movies are commonplace these days, but The Exorcist was the first movie to do it so well and remains the best film of its kind in my opinion.  Regan’s mother enlists the help of a local Georgetown University priest, Father Karras (Jason Miller) who is struggling with his own faith as is mother is fighting a terminal illness.  Father Karras realizes the force that has taken Regan is far too powerful for him to handle on his own so he calls in Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) to assist in the exorcism.  The movie basically assaults the viewer on all fronts.  The slow degradation of Regan is horrifying, and the helplessness of her mother is heart-wrenching.  The visual effects are remarkable for their time because they are done so well given their existence in the pre-CGI era.  The film also expertly uses music in that it is used sparingly so when it is utilized it is impactful and memorable.  The use of the amazing piece “Tubular Bells” helps cement the iconic status of the film.  All in all, The Exorcist is required viewing if you consider yourself a fan of horror, but the casual viewer should definitely proceed with caution.              


Our Rating:  4.5/5


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