Green vomit. Unnatural head twisting. Unlikely use of a crucifix. These images from William Friedkin's The Exorcist have become so memorable, so iconic, that they almost carry an air of humor (even spoofed by Linda Blair herself in 1990's Repossessed). They're no longer just parts of the movie, they are the movie. But now that Warner Bros. has given the film a Friedkin-enhanced re-release, it's time to see The Exorcist again as a complete film, beginning to end, with the gory details intact and in context. The result is that 27 years after its controversial release, The Exorcist is nothing short of a taut, American classic.
People may forget that The Exorcist, recently screened at the Boston Film Festival and now hitting wide re-release, was a wildly independent movie when that particular movement was really getting in gear. Shocking and blasphemous-beyond-words in 1973, the story of a sweet little girl's demonic possession still has a renegade feel today -- the introductory exposition takes nearly forty minutes, the use of profane language is disgusting and thrilling, even by today's standards, and the long battle at the film's end is relentless.
Continue reading: The Exorcist Review