Worth A Look: 24.17%
Pretty Bad: 1.9%
Total Crap: 1.9%
10 reviews, 151 user ratings
by Dust For Eyes
The Exorcist joins that increasingly long list of director's cut films. This is one of the better ones and it's well worth revisiting.I've been wondering, you know on and off, not so much about when Jesus will make his big return, but more if he already did it and nobody noticed.
"Damn good - hell yes"
"If the real Jesus Christ where to raise his head to day,
He'd be gunned down cold by the CIA."
- Matt Johnson
Well that's Matt's view, but I'm thinking it could all happen without anybody noticing, or more critically, with nobody believing it. It wouldn't be all live updates and full story after the Movie Of The Week. Jesus hasn't the benefit of agents, stylists, writers and publicists. If it ain't on Oprah then it ain't happenin'.
Jesus'd be all for the subtle approach which could be easily missed - not that you could blame him. Last time it was: Jesus! Come on down! That caused all matter of havoc with politicians at a loss what to do with him and so they put a hit on him. Talk about making a bad first impression. Makes you wonder if Jesus would want to make a reunion tour come back at all.
So with all those unresolved issues from the past it would be understandable for Jesus wanting to go for something a bit less razzamatazz - y'know none of that walking on water stuff 'cause that attracts too much attention from the wrong people - too commercial.
Yet if he goes with this approach he could be missed out on altogether and not get his message across. What to do? Poor Jezzy.
The devil on the other hand doesn't have it quite so hard. He can do any old thing he likes cause he's evil - and being evil means being cool. The devil can do that mess-with-our-heads stuff and it doesn't matter if it's constructive or not because since when has being cool been about being constructive? The devil is so cool he can even possess the body of an innocent little girl.
Regan (Blair) is looking forward to her birthday as girls her age usually do. Chris, her mother (Burnstyn) an actress, says that we'll see what we can do with Regan's request for a horse as a birthday gift.
Regan gets something alright, but it ain't a horse.
She starts playing up and goes through an exhaustive medical examination. All the doctors in the land can't find what's wrong with her. As the freaky occurrences get too much for Chris, in desperation she calls on a priest to perform an exorcism - so along come two priests (Von Sydow and Miller) to perform the task.
While the reasons for this film's rerelease may be similar to the Star Wars rereleases (no, Jar Jar Binks is not in it - although he is pure evil - there's plans for a prequel featuring Von Sydow's character) this film works wonders and is well worth seeing.
The new sound is great. Originally only a mono soundtrack the feature now has a surrounding soundtrack with it's use of the demon's breathing circling the room particularly effective. Sometimes you hear the breathing behind you, over your shoulder or swirling around you. Very unnerving and so way cool.
The new print enables you to see the flashes of faces much more clearly. Probably to their detriment - they do look a little silly. On the whole though the film is looking great.
The new print mixed with modern CGI trickery enables some of the atari effects to be smoothed out. The possession of Father Karras is much smoother and the hoses that were spraying out the vomit that could be seen in the original have been scrubbed out.
The film itself has stood the test of time very well indeed. The creepiness is still there, and it's quite confronting at times.
Of the new scenes the notable ones are the spider-walking scene - where Regan - with her back to the ground crawls down the stairs like a spider. It's been described as infamous, but really, it's not that big of a deal - what she does after she scuttles down the stairs is way gross though.
The other major addition is Regan masturbating with a crucifix. Now this deserves the adjective of infamous.
I don't know if it deserves the description of masturbation. It looks more like self-mutilation.
Have I grossed you out yet?
Anyone who calls what Regan does masturbation has a rather brutal (not to mention blood soaked) view of that practice.
Is the film misogynist? This is a criticism the film has faced.
The use of a 12 year old girl at the beginning of puberty to be suddenly a possessed monster isn't exactly winning you friends at your local feminist society. Yet I don't think this is a misogynist film.
There's no mention and connection made with what stage of maturity Regan has reached. There's also no mention or link made with say the menstrual cycle and the demonic possession or any other type of similar link. So I feel the misogynist tag is unwarranted. Regan just happens to be a girl - perhaps a symbol of innocence.While the cast and crew may have gone through hell to make this film (Burnstyn - who was recently scene in Requiem For A Dream - has a permanently injured back) the film is an excellent work. See it again for the first time and all that. The devil doesn't get much more watchable.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1142&reviewer=166
originally posted: 03/26/01 18:44:43
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