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Archive for March 22, 2022

Exorcist : The Beginning

Dollar95753014_3234720489905685_5357288239319220224_nLooking at this prequel to the Exorcist, I remember shaking my head and literally asking several friends on Facebook, “Doesn’t the Exorcist already have a prequel? That’s the entire point of the second one!” They muddied the water further by telling me not only does this prequel take place before that, but it was remade as an alternate cut “Dominion” a  year later! After the original Director was fired Renny Harlan was put in place of him. The good news is, I like Renny Harlan, and even more so I like Stellan Skarsgård so I fired it up and gave this thing a shot.

It’s supposed to be the story of a younger Father Maren and his first direct contact with the demon Pazuzu. It’s a period piece but, like the Indiana Jones movies, we’re set in a very foreign land in a sort of archaeological context so the period itself kind of fades into the background.

indexThey’ve discovered a church that there’s no record of in any Catholic lore, it’s been sealed and buried and as they excavate and investigate it, they begin to discover it’s dark secrets. It’s low budget of course, with some crummy CGI – particularly in some of the animals. Harlan is trying hard though, he wants this to connect directly to the Exorcist, a tough prospect considering that’s a film that really should never have any sequel or prequels. Harlan crafts the climax to evoke imagery from the original and commissioned a make up very reminiscent of Linda Blair in the third act of the original. I’ve got to say I’m actually surprised how much this does feel like it’s a direct sequel to the original… imagesand that’s something I haven’t really gotten from any of the other Exorcist films. It’s not a bad movie, though it is a little long and drags in places. I did go out of my way to hunt down the alternate cut, Dominion… It’s no better. In fact the more general horror fan and me prefers the Harlan cut to the more cerebral psychological thriller that Dominion prisons.

I’m not sure how much I recommend it, but it wouldn’t hurt to grab it if you spot it on the shelf of the dollar store.