Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Exorcist is NOT Overrated.

The Exorcist, Linda Blair | 20 'Classic' Movies You Call Overrated | Photo 12 of 21 |

I'm cruising along on the Entertainment Weekly website, reading about "Movies You Call Overrated", when I notice that The Exorcist is on the list. Someone commented that they didn't understand why the film was considered a horror classic. I was flabbergasted. Yes, that is a real word.

You don't get why it is considered a horror classic? O.M.G. I guess that you had to have been around when it first came out. I wasn't old enough to see the movie and we were living in Germany at the time, but I can remember the priest at church talking about the mass hysteria that surrounded this movie instead of the readings for the day. It seems that people who weren't even Catholic were freaking out and thinking that they were possessed by the devil! For me to remember a church homily at that age is astonishing, so you know that it made an impression. I had no intention of seeing the movie at all--just the idea scared me. Catholics tend to take the whole concept of demonic possession extremely seriously, and at that point we were all indoctrinated from birth that possession was not a good thing.

But then I was in high school and The Exorcist was on television in edited form. My mom and I watched it one Friday night. Eek! Being an auditory person, the thing that scared me the most were some of the voices that the demon possessing the little girl would use. Also, the scene where her head turns completely around freaked me out quite a bit--I couldn't get that shot out of my head for awhile. Actually, that still kind of creeps me out. I was so scared after the movie that I couldn't go to sleep until I found my Miraculous Medal and put it on. The next day when my mom and I were in church, the priest who was holding the service just so happened to look like Father Damien! Eek! I wore my Miraculous Medal for about six months after seeing the movie just so I could sleep at night. I guess we can all agree that the movie made an impression.

As I asked around, those people my age that I asked about the movie generally had the exact same reaction that I did. It seemed universal, an instinctive reaction.

Being one of those weird people who believes that it is important to face your fears, I decided to read the book when I was in college. The book is more or less written from a psychological standpoint, and is therefore less likely to give one the frights. I heaved a heavy sigh of relief. And then I read a book about the 'true' story behind The Exorcist. THAT book scared the bejeebers out of me! Of course I can't seem to find the book on Amazon(probably out of print), but there was a History Channel show about the incident.

All that, and all those years ago, and The Exorcist still makes me feel, at the very least, nervous. THAT is what a good horror movie is supposed to do. You're supposed to be scared, yes, but that fear is supposed to stick around for a little bit, just to remind you that even in this very modern world, there are still things out there that can go bump in the night and mean it.

1 comment:

  1. I saw this movie when I was 10. TEN!! My parents lets me watch this when I was TEN YEARS OLD. I was traumatized for YEARS afterwards. I've seen it again since and it still freaks me out. Overrated my ass!


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