The Exorcist Reviews
Things are simply placed there for us to be shocked by, for effect, with no real purpose. What is the purpose behind an anonymous priest finding a desecrated statue in a church? Where does that take us story-wise? It is only there as for effect. What purpose does the whole opening scene in Iraq serve? The old priest we meet later on finds a little statue thought to reoresent evil...ok...whatever.
Noises in the attic which sound nothing like rats, are thought to be rats. Where does that lead? The house has spirits in it that will end up being Satan in Regan? Ok, but thats a really forced explanation. They are only another pointless effect as you walk through a spook house.
At the party, how does Burstyn's character know this priest who loves sing alongs? Why would he be there other than the script needs a priest involved?
The entire storyline with Lee J. Cobb's detective is pointless and could be cut.
Regan has one incident of urinating and what anyone would dismiss as a child's bad dream moment, we are told she's 'been sick'. Really? We saw no lead up to this, indicating she is sick. Then we quickly jump to her screaming at the doctor's office and discussion about neuro electrical problems. Huh? Again, no build up or narrative to this moment.
What exactly is the physiological reason for throwing up green slime? What is it? How exactly does a human head spin around without the neck breaking? I know, we are just supposed to be scared by another pointless effect.
Linda Blair does not give a performance as one is not needed. She is merely a prop for the director and effects guys.
At least they had the sense to cut 'the spiderwalk'. What purpose would that serve to advance the story? Other than another 'BOO' moment in the spook house? And why would Satan have Regan do this? Or make her bed bump around? Or anything that happens? It's just for show.
Editing and sound problems exist all over. Burke is undeveloped in the first place and when we hear of his death, the scene is cut short. At no point does the sound of Satan's voice appear to be coming from Regan's mouth. They did not even manage to have Blair's mouthing the words match what Mercedes McCambidge is saying as Satan.
Thankfully at that year's Oscar's, a truly entertaining, well constructed film won. What intelligent film fan would not rather watch The Sting or American Graffiti for the 100th time, than The Exorcist for the 2nd time?
On the positive side, Burstyn is great, and the storyline about Fr Karras and his mother is truly moving. But on the whole, it was hyped, empty and silly then, and still is.
Featuring a haunting performance from Linda Blair and some appropriately frightening scares, The Exorcist succeeds not only as a supernatural horror but as a suspenseful drama as well.
The performances by the people who played the priests were right on, Burstyn didn't really have to act so much as to provide a performance of any kind; Friedkin took care of that, and Linda Blair was just a beautiful kid turned exceedingly devilish.
I'm not sure if it was the makeup, the well written screenplay or the profanity, but one thing is for certain; an experience was created to have people remembering, panicking and even dying from its jolt of terror that had a paranormal activity coming to a near quota.
Pazuzu floated head-circles around other invisible villains like Keyser Soze and the mad truck driver from Duel. This nasty demon even surpasses other non-human terrors such as Jaws and the Borg Queen because of its blatantly malicious intent. Whereas we can debate the evil heart of the monster in Cloverfield or Godzilla (which theoretically could be a worried mommy looking for her eggs) Pazuzu's evil lust is insatiable. This King of the demons was not content until it has possessed and violated a 12-year old girl, swore like a sailor, defied all human logic with its ghostly bag of tricks and wasted not one but two priests. That's what you call a devil's advocate.