Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

Not So Scary
review by Maryom


Strange things are happening in the MacNeil household - noises in the attic, strange smells, furniture that re-arranges itself.... Then 11 yr old Regan's behaviour changes dramatically. When medical tests can't find a reason, mother Chris decides it's time to call in an exorcist...

Scary? Not really.
I hadn't read The Exorcist before and, perhaps more surprisingly, haven't seen the film, even so I've seen lots of clips of the 'making of' variety which gave me a good idea of what to expect. It's hardly possible for someone of my age to be unaware of The Exorcist's basic plot - though to be honest, I think the title itself actually gives away quite a lot. Therefore when the noises first start in the attic, I knew what they represented and there was no gradual build up of tension as I knew what was coming.
I had expected though that as things moved along, they would get scarier - but I didn't find they did. In retrospect I think it comes down to two things - a) I don't believe in possession - and b) none of the characters seemed particularly afraid. Chris, the mother of the possessed girl is distraught and despairing, but at the same time quite practical in her outlook - If conventional doctors cannot solve her daughter's problems, then she'll get in a priest who can. All the priests seem to approach the concept in a pragmatical 'how to tackle this' frame of mind. It's something unusual but not outside their remit and they even have laid down procedures for it, which they follow. If you watch this film in a cinema then someone in the audience is bound to squeal at the sickening bits; the characters don't - they just get on with tidying up!

Shocking? I wonder if back in the good old days of the '70s Regan's language would have been worthy of note. I can hear this sort of thing from 12 year olds most Saturdays downtown outside MacDonalds - hopefully without the vomiting though.

Considering all the hype around the film, I'd expected something FAR scarier. Maybe if I'd seen the film first, my reaction would be different - who knows?

Maryom's review - 3 stars
Publisher - Corgi
Genre -
adult, horror
Buy The Exorcist from Amazon
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