Atom User Reviews for The Exorcist
Rarely do movies affect us so deeply. The first time I saw Cries and Whispers, I found myself shrinking down in my seat, somehow trying to escape from the implications of Bergman’s story. The Exorcist also has that effect--but we’re not escaping from Friedkin’s implications, we’re shrinking back from the direct emotional experience he’s attacking us with. This movie doesn’t rest on the screen; it’s a frontal assault.
This jolting tale of a 12-year-old girl possessed by the devil, her desperate movie actress mother and the two priests called in to exorcise the demon, actually seems a deeper movie now -- more intense, less formulaic or shallow. Yet it's also retained all its original hypnotic narrative grip. [2000 re-release]
Through technical virtuosity at every artistic level -- including the brilliant acting debut of playwright Jason Miller as the doubt-filed priest who assists Von Sydow in the exorcism -- The Exorcist becomes more than a shocking movie: a film with a strong, positive force.