The Exorcist: Whats the big deal?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by NickSo, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Aight, so i've heard time and time again THE EXORCIST is one of the SCARIEST MOVIES EVER... so i decide to watch it last night, alone in the dark...

    An hour and thirty minutes later... Uhmmmm... right... That was not that scary!!! The Ring (remake) was ten times scarier than this...

    I just dont see it... Is it just coz I'm so jaded by the special effects these days that the posessed girl was just fake-looking but back in the day when it first came out it was so realistic?

    The only scary thing i saw was when you actually saw the 'devil's' face, and during that one section where when the room flashed you'd see 'subliminal' single-frame appearances of a silhouette of the devil. Other than that, i thought it wasn't all that cracked up to be...

    Can somebody please enlighten me?
     
  2. MartinTeller

    MartinTeller Screenwriter

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    So the only parts you liked was the CGI stuff added 20 years later?

    Anyway, threads like this never go anywhere. If you didn't like it, no one is going to convince you that you should like it.
     
  3. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    I didn't realize the devil's face and the silhouettes were added later...

    Im in no way trying to bash the film (you're making it sound like I am, and i hope my opening post didn't sound that way) And I dont wanna be CONVINCED to like it, Im just curious as to what made it so scary 25 years ago...
     
  4. Topher

    Topher Stunt Coordinator

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    The demons face wasn't added in later, it was in the original. At least if we are talking about the same things. I thought it was a great movie, however not as scary as much as it is unsettling...
     
  5. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Actually, the film is 30 years old now and back then it was scary, but due to horror films that were made since then, it may appear to be tame by today's standards. That's the price you pay for being a ground-breaking film with plenty of latter day imitations.





    Crawdaddy
     
  7. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Nick, I just had the same exact experience with "The Last House on the Left." Despite its hype, I didn't find that the least bit scary. "The Exorcist" is better.

    Plus, "The Exorcist" is probably more unsettling if you actually believe in possession and get into the religious overtones. I don't, so I don't find it all that scary.

    But it was fun watching it on the big screen at the Seattle Cinerama a couple years ago with some friends. [​IMG]
     
  8. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I always found the film was much scarier to me than other horror films due to me being a catholic. I laugh at most horror/slasher films (The Ring, Halloween etc.), jump at times at some (The Others, Signs, What Lies Beneath), but I find The Exorcist truly scary. My Catholic upbringing and the mysterious, unspoken, almost occult rite of exorcism (and the fact this rite is still performed to this day) combine to chill me to the bone. Blair Witch, pheh! Jason, Michael Myers and Freddy, phhht! But give me a couple priests, a devil and a little girl, I won't sleep for a week!

    Malcolm, I see you also feel the same way about the religious aspect. Maybe I'm onto something here . . .
     
  9. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    The book was based on actual events that took place in Maryland.

    I remember sitting in the theater, 13 years old, catholic school student, freaking out. In it's day, it was intense.... especially in a darkened theater, on the big screen.

    I think crawdaddy hit the nail on the head.
     
  10. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    The Exorcist was one of the scariest movies I ever saw back in high school (around 1998). I watched it alone, during a torrential rainstorm, and with the lights turned off. What didn't help was about three seconds after the movie finished rewinding in my VCR, the power in my house went out. Then there was a loud crash of thunder. Needless to say, I made it in time to the bathroom. [​IMG]

    The film is no longer scary to me, albeit it is still a little creepy. The most important thing about the film is the theme of faith and how it affects those around them.

    Another theme to notice is the relationship between parent and child. Even if you were to have something else besides a scary devil possession, you can see what happens to a child and the effects and toll it takes on a parent. It's heart-breaking to see a mother cry when she's almost out of options. It's kind of like what I'd imagine what most parents would go through if they found out that their child had a terminal disease or something like it.
     
  11. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I'm probably not the greatest judge to the effectiveness of the film, I am more frightened by The Ring than The Exorcist, but I can say this:

    *The Exorcist is of higher quality than any horror movie I am aware of. I don't think you could get that many actors/actresses of this caliber into one movie these days. The directing, set design, music, and editing are "textbook perfect" (Not so much with the extended versions).

    *Combined the latent human fears of Death, old age, and insanity. This is in additon to any religious threads concerning the loss of one's faith, or corruption (of the soul) by demonic forces. Also struck a cord with primitive (by todays standards) medical technology (The blood! ack!).

    The horror of this movie is really a reflection of the filmamker, and possibly a whole generation of people (Satanic films were big before the slasher films).

    But it doesn't have the "impending spooky doom" quality to it that The Ring, or The BLair Witch Project have to it.
     
  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Honestly, I've never been a big fan of this film. Saw it when first released and couldn't see what all the hoopla was about (remember, people were losing their lunches in theaters while others ran out of the auditoriums). Though there are some effective shots and compositions as well as effective uses of prerecorded serious music, the overall presentation, for this viewer at least, is more schlock than shock.

    Too, there's the entire premise, which, if one doesn't subscribe to the theology in the film's story, is less than compelling. And, of course, Friedkin's pre-Spielberg audience manipulation cheapened the effect.

    Far better are such calmer, more restrained examples of horror, such as The Haunting and The Uninvited.

    This is an example of a film that has attained classic status but for which I could not care in the least. I wonder how it will be viewed by serious critics in another generation?

    (I also do not care for Ellen Burstyn's overacting.)
     
  13. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    For me, this film has never been all that scary, simply because there’s very little sense of physical danger. We have a young girl doing weird, gross things. “Ooh, she peed on the carpet!” “Ooh, she vomited!” Gross? Yes. Scary? I fail to see why. Contrast this with movies where people really ARE in physical danger, such as Alien (you get attacked by some horrible creature that implants eggs in you) or Jaws, where you get bitten in pieces or even swallowed whole. That’s scary!

    The "demonic possession" aspect doesn't scare me, because not until the very end do we get ANY sense that the demon threatens anyone else. Just one girl, acting gross.
     
  14. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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  15. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    I saw The Exorcist in the cinema back in the 70's and it did freak me out a bit. It was a massive success when it came out, I think only The Godfather was more successful at that time. People were screaming, fainting and vomiting, ambulances would turn up at theaters. Eventually it was banned in England until a few years ago.

    It's not as effective now because we've had 30 years of gory horrors since. And people now are more fascinated in how they make films than they were 30 years ago, back than people would just immerse themselves in the story, nowadays at the cinema we wonder what kind of extras the dvd will have while we're in the middle of watching the film.[​IMG]
     
  16. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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  17. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  18. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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  19. Robert Anthony

    Robert Anthony Producer

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    I think the Exorcist is mostly a product of the times and the mores of the day--in the early 70's you didn't really see that kind of stuff being tackled in movies.

    I think that's what most of it was--back then, the idea of an 8 year old stabbing herself in the crotch until bloody while screaming "FUCK YOU JESUS" was something you just never expected to see in a serious, highly publicized studio picture. The mood friedkin set, the idea that it could be YOUR kid that could levitate her bed and puke all over a priest, I think those were things that hadn't really been tackled in a kind of documentary way in the early 70's, and the shock of how raw it felt and looked up on the screen back then is what's given the movie it's lasting appeal, more than anything.

    It's not a TIMELESS movie by any stretch of the imagination, at least I don't think so--but it's still pretty well put together, and I try to keep in mind the time it was made, and I think I appreciate it a little more for that.
     
  20. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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