Tuesday, October 12, 2010
The Director: William Friedkin
The Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller
Release Date: December 26, 1973.
I don't know how much time I've spent pondering The Exorcist. If I had I put that amount of time toward anything practical, I'd be pretty amazing at whatever that practical thing is.
Others often find it funny when I say it, but I honestly find The Exorcist to be one of the most enjoyable films ever made. In the moment, it's a harrowing experience that features a lot of scares, some of the creepiest imagery put on film, and a whole dollop of of intensity that's sure to keep the viewer on edge. But the experience is not just about finding fear, it's about finding faith. It's an exploration of the forces that might exist in the world, the forces that don't care if we believe in them or if we don't. The actors, particularly Jason Miller as the jaded Father Karras, seem to know this and sell it well. Director William Friedkin has said that the film is "a positive statement about God, the human condition, and the relationship between the two".
I've wasted a lot of words on this movie over the years, and I've never said it better than that. If you haven't seen The Exorcist yet, do so. It's worth every lofty bit of praise that's ever been lobbed in its direction.