To cap off the Halloween season this year, I review one of the scariest horror films there has ever been. This has stood the test of time with abounding horror, brilliant performances, and great effects for the time.
PLOT:Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) and her daughter, Regan (Linda Blair), are currently living in a big city while Chris is acting in a movie, shot by the drunken director, Burke Dennings (Jack MacGowran). While there, strange things start happening in the MacNeil household, for Regan claims her bed has been shaking and has been swearing heavily like she has never before. The doctors say its a problem with her temporal lobe, but things only go from bad to worse as they try to treat her. After seeing sights such as her daughter growling, levitating, and even changing voices, Chris becomes convinced that her daughter is possessed. She has a tough time find a priest to help, but she eventually stumbles across faith-stricken Father Karras (Jason Miller) and professional exorcist, Father Merrin (Max von Sydow), who has also been on expeditions to Africa for experience. These two must get the demon out of Regan or die trying. It's a great plot executed brilliantly.
ACTING:The performances in here are top-notch. Linda Blair has to be one of the best child actors of all-time for pulling off Regan MacNeil, a possessed child, at only about 9 years old. Jason Miller and Max von Sydow also played a couple great parts as the priests, Father Karras and Merrin; they played off of each other very well and worked intensely. The other shining stars would have been Ellyn Burstyn as distressed Chris MacNeil, Jack MacGowran as drunken Burke Dennings, Lee J. Cobb as Lt. Winderman, Mercedes McCambridge as the demon voice, and Eileen Dietz as the demon's face.
SCORE:The score is creepy and very memorable. The theme song, "Tubular Bells" by Mike Oldfield, has become one of the most memorable horror film themes in history. The rest of the score was pretty good too, and done in part by Jack Nitzche.
EFFECTS:The effects for this film's time were phenomenal, and they still are. The effects in here are super realistic, which makes them all the more scary. The blood, make-up, vomit, bed-shaking, head-turning, and illusioned effects were very great and made everything scary as ever.
OTHER CONTENT:This is one of the best horror films I've ever seen. Along with its previous rises, it doesn't stray too far from the book, has great editing, and is shot to scare. I've read the book before, and after seeing this, I notice only a slight change in dialogue and detail. Otherwise, all is down right. The director, William Friedkin, did a great job editing this film just right, as to add the most effective scares; it's great cinematography. This film is shot to do nothing to its audience but scare, disturb, and unnerve. In its release, it succeeded greatly. Today, it still does. This is truly an iconic horror film. I also appreciate how much awesome bonus material is added in this version, which makes it even better and more accurate. However, the book had a bit more feeling put into its ending as compared to the film. I cried at the end of the book, but the film just got my nerves up. They both come close as ever, but the book has a smidge more feeling in it.
OVERALL,an awesome horror film with a brilliantly-executed plot, top-notch performances, creepy score, realistic effects, most accuracy to the book, great editing, the effect to scare, and plenty of added bonuses, but the book has a bit of a stronger ending than the film.