movie film review | chris tookey


1973 - Warner Brothers - all rights reserved
   Exorcist Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
Average Rating
7.74 /10
Ellen Burstyn , Max Von Sydow, Jason Miller
Full Cast >

Directed by: William Friedkin
Written by: William Peter Blatty from his own novel

Released: 1973
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 122

Demon possesses 12 year-old girl (Linda Blair).
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

Bookmark and Share

The film which revolutionized the horror genre with its crude language and spectacularly unpleasant effects. The best thing about it remains Ellen Bursten, pictured left, as the film-star mother of a sweet little girl (Linda Blair) who when possessed by the devil turns into a sort of female Noel Gallagher.

But William Peter Blatty's script seems more long-winded, pretentious and confused than ever. Why is the Devil taking control of this particular 12 year-old? Why does he scurry about in the loft like a squirrel? What is his grudge against Max von Sydow (picturecd right)? Why doesn't he use more of his infernal powers?

The biggest mystery of all is why Friedkin cast so dull an actor as Jason Miller in the central role of the anguished priest-psychologist: his struggle to regain his faith looks like mild indigestion. Perhaps he's worrying about the future career of his son, Jason Patric, which foundered so horribly in Speed 2: Cruise Control.

Many found The Exorcist terrifying in 1973, but nowadays you're likely to find cruder language, worse behaviour and more disgusting special effects in the average Adam Sandler comedy. If you were of a religious frame of mind, you might say that the Devil has triumphed.

I just throw everything at the audience and give them a real thrill. That's what they want. They don't want to go into a theater and treat it like a book. They don't even read books!

(William Peter Blatty)

Key to Symbols