February 18, 2016 at 3:58 PM #42269
As a fan of The Exorcist, both the book and film, I tend to revisit either on occasions, at the moment I am in one of those phases where I study The Exorcist from a philanthropic point of view, the overt impact the movie had on cinemagoers on it’s release is well documented, the visual onslaught witnessed on screen created a sense of dysphoria, a sense of genuine unease, and was the subject of much debate, it could be argued that Blatty and Friedkin had achieved what they set out to do, and in many respects no-one could argue with that, I remember seeing the movie for the first time as a callow youth, unprepared for what I was about to witness, but strangely enough, I didn’t run screaming from the cinema, on the contrary, there was something in the film that drew me in inexorably, of course the visceral onslaught was immensely powerful, but it went far beyond that, there was something tangible about it, something which I couldn’t readily explain, and yet I remained transfixed, to me the horror unfolding before me was secondry to what I took from the film, although it was the horror which gave the film it’s punch.
To this day I am still as transfixed by this movie as ever I was, time has not dimmed the allure it holds for me, and yet I find myself wondering, Does The Exorcist still have an impact today, or has today’s youth been sanitised by an explosion of blood and gore brought to them via tame slasher movies and games consoles, I posed this question to a group of teens, the general concensus was that some viewed it as light hearted, whereas others admitted they hadn’t seen the film and due to it’s reputation were reluctant to watch it, my wondering went towards a possible remake for today’s audiences, could anyone improve on what is regarded as almost the perfect film, would a remake tarnish the brilliance of the original, or given the great advances in cinema technology, would it offer the same scares as the original for a new generation.
For me, The Exorcist scares and tantalises in equal measure, it is cinematic brilliance, since first viewing it many years ago, I still find something new to take from it with each viewing, The Exorcist has been implanted in modern culture, and is testament to the literary genius of William Peter Blatty, and the directoral brilliance of William Friedkin, as the sleeve of the original novel stated, “The Exorcist is as superior to most books of it’s kind as an Einstein equation is to an accountant’s column of figures, that statement can also be applied to the movie.
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