Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mother, What's Wrong With Me?

Today's movie is:

1973's The Exorcist (For the purposes of this post I am covering the re-release, aka "The Version You Haven't Seen")

Starring: Jason Miller, Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb and Linda Blair. Directed by William Friedkin

Plot: 2 priests attempt to exorcise a demon that has possessed the body of a young girl.

Type of horror: Supernatural/Psychological

Gooderbad?: I like it, I do, but I'd probably like it more if I hadn't heard all my life that it's the GREATEST HORROR MOVIE EVER. I hear that and my instinct is to rebel and say it sucks, which it does not, not by a long shot. Is it the greatest horror movie ever made? I can't say, but it's damn near perfect regardless of what genre it falls into. So if you haven't seen it, I recommend giving it a shot, even if you don't like horror movies.

Like, how scary is it?: You know something? I've seen this movie twice: once when I was 15 and once when I was 30. At 15 it didn't faze me in the slightest. At 30, it did. The difference (one of them) between me at 15 and me at 30? Motherhood. The idea of something hurting your child and you not being able to do anything about it is just about the worst thing in the world, and I felt a lot of empathy for Ellen Burstyn's character.

Second worst thing in the world? Guilt, and as such, the other thing about this movie that got under my skin was Father Karras' anguish over the death of his mother and the way the critter that possessed Regan taunted him with it. This movie fucked with my head and not in a fun way. As for the whole demon angle, I suppose that if pressed I can admit to finding This a teensy, weensy bit unsettling. That's not normal...

Highlights: I managed to get a chuckle during the movie, amazingly enough. Shortly after Regan begins to exhibit some slight changes in her behavior (long before she gets busy with a crucifix), her mother takes her to a doctor for testing, and the doctor comes up with a brilliant solution: Ritalin. Oh how I laughed and laughed. Then I think I cried a little bit.

Where?: Here