Here at the Nawrot home, horror flicks are something of a favorite. Not only do my husband and I like them, but our kids have followed in our footsteps. We are equal opportunity horror lovers too, ranging from the classics (Halloween, The Omen, Psycho) to the newer generation (The Ring, The Grudge, Insidious). I've even crowned my daughter the Queen of the B-Movie...she'll watch anything, and she has nerves of steel.
With all the CGI imagery available these days however, it just doesn't get any scarier than this classic, released in 1973. The effects are no more elaborate than a shaking bed, a spinning head, and a young girl speaking in a demonic voice. But the results are terrifying and highly controversial. God versus the devil, the battleground taking place over the body of a 12 year-old, underscored by the chilling theme song written by the brilliant 20 year-old Mike Oldfield.
I first watched this movie in high school with my sister one night, upstairs in our home on the VCR. I can't remember which scene freaked us out (the spinning head? the pea soup? the crucifix crotch stabbing?) but the two of us ran out of the room like our hair was on fire. So as we were watching the movie again on Friday night, I had to text her and share my memories.
The cast is heavy on talent with Linda Blair as the possessed Regan, Ellen Burstyn as her mother, and Max Van Sydow as the exorcist. While this movie put 14 year-old Blair on the map, I suspect her career could never quite recover from the stigma. For a brief period, she was actually being considered for the Oscar for her performance, until it was discovered that many of the effects were voice-overs and used a dummy. She went through her life with people being afraid of her, and was forever typecast as a monster. She later struggled with drugs and a string of bad relationships.
The movie was based on a novel written by William Peter Blatty in 1971, and was his magnum opus that earned him an Oscar for the screenplay. The story was contrived from a real-life exorcism that occurred in 1949. Blatty is still alive and continues to write, with his most recent novels published just last year.
How many of you have seen this movie? Do you feel it stands up to the quality of movies made today?