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Parallel Imagery

In the Iraq opening, a young boy runs across the diggings to get a message to Father Merrin. The camera peers through his legs as he speaks, foreshadowing the gruesome crucifix masturbation scene that comes later.
In Iraq, Father Merrin finds the small amulet in his diggings and senses evil, much like Lieutenant Kinderman does when he finds one of Regan’s clay creations at the bottom of the Washington steps, where two deaths occur.
This one is pretty self explanatory. In the Iraq opening again, a steel worker removes his hat and gazes over to Father Merrin, revealing a blank, white eye. Of course, Regan’s eyes will later resemble this in her demonic state.
Ever noticed that Regan’s creation kind of looks like the Pazuzu statue from the Iraq scenes? Pazuzu is the demon that possess young Regan, using the name Captain Howdy. Regan’s ‘art’ can also be associated with the desecration of the Mary statue in the church.
In the Iraq opening, Father Merrin is examining some findings when the clock behind him stops. This same clock appears (for a second) during Father Karras’ dream after his mother dies. The two characters don’t meet until the end part of the film, but the image of the stopped clock brings them fatefully together for the viewers.
This is one of my favorites. Chris is woken early in the morning to start shooting and rolls over to find Regan has snuck into bed with her. While Chris is on the phone, we clearly see a picture frame on her bedside dresser with a photo of Regan inside. Later, during the hypnotism, Chris stands in front of the photograph (which is blurred out in the background) and she is unknowingly holding the same pose. This same pose is also freakishly close to the pose Regan is sitting in after killing Father Merrin near the end of the film.
During Father Karras’ dream, we see a shot of his mother against a pitch black background, almost exactly like the Captain Howdy subliminals that occur during the film. This is a little freaky as later on, during the exorcism, Captain Howdy/Pazuzu will use Karras’ dead mother against him in a bid to break his faith.

One comment

  1. It was brilliant.

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