The Exorcist

(USA, 1973, 122 mins, DCP)
CAST Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J Cobb, Jason Miller, Mercedes McCambridge

40 years ago, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist redefined screen terror with its slow but atmospheric build up mounting to a sustained crescendo of graphic, visceral horror. Audiences had never seen special effects like these before, and reacted with panic and revulsion - as if Satan himself was at loose in this film.

Thirteen year old Linda Blair is Regan, the movie star daughter who is possessed by a demon, and whose body beccomes a spiritual battleground. Even today, 40 years on, if you have never seen this movie before you have never seen anything that can match it for sheer unadulterated horror.

(Screening the 2000 restoration in DCP.)

"A credible portrait of the modern, urban world ripped apart by an obscene, ancient evil… the graphic desecration of everything considered wholesome and good about the fading American Dream - the home, the family, the church, and, most shockingly, the child." Mark Kermode