People in the 70s did filmmaking so differently. Even the horror movies (the good ones) took their time telling the story. They didn’t rely on many camera tricks and so forth. Such is the case for director William Friedkin’s THE EXORCIST. If it was filmed today, I think all the focus would have been on Linda Blair’s demon possessed character Ragen. But the 1973 film centered more on the mother (Ellen Burstyn), and the priests Merrin and Karras played by Max von Sydow and Jason Miller. I assume the book did the same thing. Besides Blair’s character, Father Karras was the one going through spiritual turmoil. And he’s the one that eventually becomes the real hero.
I purposely didn’t include this film in my Scream-A-Day series from last year, mainly because I didn’t want to feature all the best horror in one shot. And the EXORCIST is considered one of the best, if not The best horror movie of all time.
Another thing the 70s brought is that people hadn’t seen subject matters portrayed so realistically to a large degree before then. It was an evolution from the 60s spirited filmmakers and the struggling studios willing to take risks to save the industry. Having a kid puking pea soup and spinning her head set a benchmark in horror that was hard to attain well after. So, yes, THE EXORCIST is my 27th choice for these 31 Scream-A-Days for October. I just watched the director’s cut and Friedkin’s commentary is pretty insightful.
Come back for more classic, modern and unique horror choices. Let me know which ones you enjoyed.