Halloween countdown banner

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Directed by William Friedkin

There are many advantages to being born and raised Catholic. I am a product of Catholic schools and in Catholicism I found many things to be perversely exciting- the bloody martyrs, the shadowy confessional booths, the glowing rows of dedication candles, the thunderous pipe organs, the bitter sexless nuns, the burning threat of Hell, the delicious guilt for all things pleasurable and the very real threat of demonic possession are just a few that come to mind. Yes, "The Exorcist" scared the shit out of me when I first saw it on the sly as a youngster. Driven to heighten my terror I bought a used copy of the novel by William Peter Blatty and I've read that same copy cover to cover at least half a dozen times over the years, trying to isolate and understand the serious case of the creeps that this little tale still summons in me. I think the fears that it taps into are pretty primal and experts say they even have an effect on non-Catholics. After all, few things are more terrifying than losing identity, control and being dragged post haste towards death in the meantime. There are a lot of invasive forces that can take over our bodies and forever alter our personalities and they are all scary. This movie provides us with a visceral representation of such an invasion but I think the most effective section of the film is the slowly evolving suspense driven first half before little Regan's head creaks around and she's tied to the bedposts. A word to the wise- don't mess with Pazuzu.


Post a Comment

<< Home