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Published:October 29th, 2013 08:10 EST
Is 'The Exorcist' a Horror Film or Is it a Spiritual Film About the Power of Faith?

Is 'The Exorcist' a Horror Film or Is it a Spiritual Film About the Power of Faith?

By John G. Kays


Sticky, Gooey, Slime Green/yellow is the primary texture and color that blankets the canvass screen in the Horror or Spiritually Deprived 1973 classic, The Exorcist, which I just viewed twice (on AMC for Halloween), having cannily hit the DVR record button a few days hence. Also, I heard about that new attractive-sounding package just released, The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Edition, which goes for $49.99. I don`t have an extra 50 Bucks lying around, so I settled for AMC`s print, which has those irritating ads in the bottom right corner.Well, I got a good enough view of the slime and puss anyhow, thank you!


Well, all those ribbons and bows in the new KIT tantalize like The Devil, such as an interview with the writer William Peter Blatty, as well as excerpts from the memoirs of William Friedkin (hey, I`d forgotten he did The French Connection also!). I know I`ll have to wait until the wonderful looking package hits the Cut-Out Bins of say, Half Price Books, which may be not such a long wait. But I got a good gander of it, the possession, the shaking bed, a grumpy-faced, poor Linda Blair, as well as the great job done by Mercedes McCambridge as the voice of the demon Pazuzu. The demon voice is the hook that holds this together!


Okay, I didn`t forget, we have a superb cast here, and a plot that won`t take no for an answer, based as it is on an actual case of possession and a sub-sequential intervention by the Church (more research is required). Boy, that interview with Blatty would come in handy about now (hey, maybe Netflix will have this new edition?)! But naturally though, once the Halloween Season passes on Thursday, my mood will completely transform, I`ll be looking around for tranquil Pilgrim/Indian kinds of stuff with lots of scenes of turkey, dressing, yams, tators, cranberries and pumpkin pie (of course). Horrid green/yellow Linda Blair will be a turn-off, Folks!


This is serious cinema, so I need to stop my yammering. I got to some serious dissecting myself this morning, leaning on the Wikipedia entry to rake over the particulars of the film; Christ, how awesome can it get with Max von Sydow as Father Lankester Merrin! Merrin finds that Bad little amulet on an archaeology dig in Iraq, and that is the kernel of the story, once the setting changes over to Georgetown. I went to Jesuit myself, so I can empathize with the excellent portrayal of Father Damien Karras by Jason Miller; I mean, I graduated from there just before the film was released (December 26, 1973), and I knew priests that were just like Karras (or resembled Miller`s character, anyway).


My two cents worth, is, this is not really a Horror flick or a Halloween film, but has somehow morphed to this position or category through the years, perhaps almost naturally, I don`t know. The fact that it was originally issued in December tells you a lot. It`s main theme is Faith, really; is it possible that Demons could be cast away from a possessed soul through a belief in God and in Jesus Christ? Yes it is, if we are to believe the fundamental tenant of what were handed in The Exorcist. We have to remember though, the two Catholic priests lost their lives with the struggle and the strain of the purging, but saved the soul of Regan Teresa MacNeil. A Quid pro quo sorta deal. Happy Halloween!


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exorcist_(film)