February 26, 2010

The EXORCIST series


German Title:
Der Exorzist

USA, 1973
Director: William Friedkin


Everyone, really everyone seems to adore this movie and really everyone was scared to death while watching it - that's why I feel a bit ashamed because I definitely don't adore it and it never managed to scare me.
I watched it 3 times: in theater, on TV on my PC and it never really impressed me.
Well, it's a decent 70s flick with brilliant acting performances, a terrific soundtrack, fantastic-looking make-up effects and some great effects but IMO it's waaay too long (half of it is utter boring), packed with way too many tiresome dialogue scenes and in no ways scary or creepy.
Overrated? I think so.

Wiki ~ Imdb


German Title:
Der Exorzist II - Der Ketzer / Exorzist II - Der Ketzer

USA, 1977
Director: John Boorman


Hilariously bad sequel with an atrocious storyline, and full of unintentionally funny scenes (that stupid brainwave synchronizer, the locust flights, all the Pazuzu and Kokumo shit...), horrible dialogue ("What's the matter with you?" - "I was possessed with a demon. Oh, it's ok. He's gone.") and some really lousy acting. At least the camera work and some parts of Morricone's soundtrack are quite good.

Wiki ~ Imdb


Alternate Titles:
The Exorcist III: Legion / Exorcist 3

German Title:
Der Exorzist III

USA, 1990
Director: William Peter Blatty


Finally an exorcist-movie that suits my taste. Part 3 blasts the first two parts directly to hell. It's incredibly creepy and scary, extremely tense, highly atmospheric - and surprisingly even a bit funny.
The cast is consistently strong with some terrific performances from the ever-amazing George C. Scott, the sinister Brad Dourif and the entertaining Ed Flanders.
The cinematography is outstanding: loads of tremendously fabulous shots and wonderful visuals.
The dialogue is also outstanding: all the humorous conversations between Kinderman and Father Dyer and all the weird conversations between Kinderman and Patient X are so incredible, you have to see it to believe it.
Furthermore, it's filled with many frightening and superscary scenes, most notably the infamous hallway scene - plus: it's probably the only film where I totally don't care that they are not showing the gruesome murders. In fact, they only talk about the kills but in a such a horrific way, it's probably more terrifying then it would have been if they showed it all.
Overall an excellent but sadly underrated movie, highly recommended!

The story behind the 2 Exorcist-prequels is full of drama
and totally unique in the history of Hollywood:
After the success of the director's cut re-release of "The Exorcist" in 2001, the film studios decided to do a new Exorcist-movie, not a sequel but a prequel. Initially John Frankenheimer was set to direct but stepped down from the project only 1 month before his death.
He was replaced with Paul Schrader who shot the movie under the title "Exorcist: Dominion". However, the producers were completely unsatisfied with the finished product (mainly because of lack of gore and violence).
So they shelved the movie, fired Schrader and replaced him with Renny Harlin who re-filmed the movie.
The final product was finally released into theaters in 2004 under the title"Exorcist: The Beginning" - but after pretty poor audience and critical response, the studios decided to give Schrader the possibility to finish his Film.
His version finally was released to a limited showing in 2005 under the title "Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist".
So, now we have 2 Exorcist-prequels with similar stories and same actors. Which one is better? Well, I'll tell you...


German Title:
Exorzist: Der Anfang

USA, 2004
Director: Renny Harlin


Harlin's prequel is ok. Just ok. No more, no less. It's way too long but gladly it never gets boring as it's quite well paced. It's never really suspenseful but at least it has a couple of pretty scary scenes. The acting is great (Stellan Skarsgard, James D'Arcy...), the camera work is often extremly stunning and the dialogue is mostly decent. Unfortunately the script is a horrible and annoying mess (full of unnecessary scenes, a ridiculous climax), many of the effects look shoddy and it's packed with dumb and pointless satan/exorcist-clichés (crosses/reversed crosses, moving furniture, Linda Blair imitations etc.).
Absolutely nothing special but at least it's as entertaining as other Harlin-flicks ("Deep Blue Sea", "Elm Street 4", ...).


Alternate Title:
Paul Schrader's Exorcist: The Original Prequel

German Title:
Dominion: Exorzist - Der Anfang des Bösen

USA, 2005
Director: Paul Schrader


Schrader's prequel is horible. Absolutely horrible. Now I totally understand why the studios wanted to have a different film.The only thing that I like in here is Skarsgard's performance. Everything else just sucks:
"Dominion" is so fucking boring, it's incredible. It's never suspenseful or thrilling or entertaining or anything, it's just boring, tedious and unbelievably slow-paced. Most of the actors' performances are terribly lame, especially from Gabriel Mann and that crippled boy.
The effects are laughable: CGI cows and hyenas that look live I've programmed them. The camera seems to be on auto pilot, the soundtrack is simply uninteresting, the possession scenes are hilariously ridiculous and it feels like every scene in that movie is twice as long as it needed to be.
An awful movie, even "Exorcist 2" is better than this pile of crap.

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