Sunday, October 11, 2015

Thoughts and Observations on The Exorcist

Runtime: 122 minutes
Release Date: December 26, 1973
Rating: R
Director: William Friedkin

One of the only drive-ins left in our area decided to stay open later this season and show classic horror movies leading up to Halloween weekend. First up was The Exorcist and The Shining. Since I'm sure everyone in the world knows the plot of these movies, I thought I would just do a few thoughts and observations rather than a traditional straight up movie review.

*I never thought I would get to see this on the big screen, and the atmosphere surrounding the movie was just phenomenal. Since we went on a Sunday night, which is the least busy day of the week, we were one of just six cars watching the films. With trees around the lot blocking the streetlights, it was the perfect creepy experience.

*The Exorcist is a lot funnier than I ever gave it credit for watching it in the past. There are moments in the movie that actually made us laugh fairly loudly.

*Everyone talks about Linda Blair, but Ellen Burstyn really made the movie. She adds these special touches that take her character to the next level. Whether it's the way her hand shakes when talking to Father Karras for the first time or the way she furrows her brow when trying to talk to Regan in the tub, she's just amazing.

*I had a college professor who taught a lot of horror and sci-fi lit classes and required that we read the book in class. He gave extra credit for students who did something unique and different. He loved talking about the two guys who went to the actual staircase and recreated the last moment of Father Karras for his class.

*The version we saw was the anniversary edition that included the spider walk scene down the staircase. While a lot of people claim this is the creepiest moment in the film, it kind of pulled me out of the movie. It almost felt like it was shoe horned in and didn't really belong.

*The scene that did get me was when Regan goes in for the first series of tests. I hate needles so much that I can't even look when I get my own blood drawn. Seeing that needle go into her neck and then the blood come out actually turned my stomach. I was pretty happy to later learn that a lot of people feel the same way.

*So many people remember the vomit/pee soup scene, but it really only lasts a few seconds. It's actually strange that it's so memorable.

*The same applies to the crucifix scene. For some reason, I always thought that moment went on way too long because it made me feel so uncomfortable. It really only lasts around 30 to 45 seconds.

*It takes a lot longer for the film to get going than I remembered. A large chunk involves the Father overseas, and it's probably 45 minutes until Regan demonstrates enough problems that Chris calls for a doctor.

*Watching The Exorcist on the big screen made me eager to head back for more movies this month!

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