Welcome back you ghoulish goblins! Mistress Macabre here with another curated creepshow to class up your October. Last time we indulged our killer doll obsession with Child’s Play and the debut of that demonic darling Chucky. Today’s heavy hitter aims for higher paranormal places – yes kiddos, it’s time to revisit the acclaimed possession nightmare of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist.
Now even jaded horrorheads like yours truly must bow respectfully toward this monolith that brought demonic cinema into the mainstream. While creaky by today’s standards, The Exorcist endures through atmosphere and the power of suggestion. It displayed that horror film could be more than drive-in schlock – The Exorcist was audacious art that rattled audiences to their core.
Of course the set pieces retain their repulsive impact – the frantic bed-shaking, Regan’s vile blasphemies, those unnatural body contortions and ruined complexion. Our first glimpse of the oozing open sore masquerading as a face on Blatty’s creature creation extracts particular disgust. But The Exorcist disturbs mostly through sinister implication.
Friedkin conjures such provocativemood and texture that the demon’s presence infects every frame. Even little details like the alien desert setting and Regan’s room overflowing with creepy totems amplify dread. Crucifixes cast grayscale shadows evoking prisons, while Georgetown’s labyrinthine steps spiral towards inevitable doom. The Exorcist dragged horror from the pulpy fringe towards operatic prestige.
And of course Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair must be praised for their harrowing emotional work amid such bleak, transgressive material. Burstyn’s unraveling as events push her maternal limits creates such empathy. And Blair pivots chillingly from cherubic tot to spewing and defiling monster in Satan’s thrall. Their acting grounds The Exorcist amid the bombast.
The Exorcist also hit at a pivotal cultural moment when generational divides ran high and faith faced an identity crisis. Its unflinching blasphemy shocked religious audiences, but also reified faith in some fans. They saw untapped spiritual potency within its ritualistic clash between good and evil. The Exorcist became many things to many people – moral corruption, visceral thrills, confirmation of demons, or just masterful spectacle. And that complexity is rare.
So as October winds toward its witching hour climax, ensure your marathon includes 1973’s trailblazing master of possession horror. Understand its legendary reputation is well deserved. The Exorcist remains the towering gold standard against which all other films battling Old Scratch are judged. When it comes to casting out demons, accept no substitutes!
Sharon, mistress of the night, dwells in shadows, weaving twisted tales of terror. Born under a solar eclipse, she was destined to become the high priestess of horror. From her remote cabin, she scribbles chilling stories by candlelight, channeling vengeful phantoms. Her sinister tales slither into your mind and coil around your deepest fears. Read her work, if you dare…but be prepared to sleep with the lights on.