March 21, 2023

31 Days Of Horror (Day 7) – The Exorcist (1973)


Things go bump in the night, others will devour your soul, some will slice, dice eat your heart with a nice glass of Chianti. October has now arrived which can mean only one thing 31 Days of Horror has now arrived again. For the next 31 days, we will dive deep into the catacombs of horror to pick you a movie. Every day will be different ranging from the classics to the weird and wonderful. Many you might have heard of, some will be new to you. There will be personal favourites that you may like, others you may hate but they all will unleash those emotions that make us love horror.

Day 7 we say hello to Aly Lalji who delivers a iconic horror, no 31 Days of Horror list should do without…The Exorcist! What a good day for an exorcism and God Compels you to watch!

It was controversial, haunting and popular from the moment it opened. William Friedkin’s masterpiece ‘The Exorcist’ is arguably the definitive horror film of all time. It changed film culture by pushing the boundaries to an extreme. It shocked, it disturbed and got banned in Britain from 1985 to 1998.

The intriguing premise is of an innocent twelve-year-old girl possessed by a terrifying entity, her mother’s frantic resolve to save her and two priests – one doubt-ridden, the other a rock of faith – joined to battle the ultimate evil, left viewers in shock, trauma and torment.

In the early 1970’s films were becoming more daring and experimental to the mainstream public. The controversial ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and ‘Straw Dogs’ opened to viewers and reached worldwide acclaim. ‘The Exorcist’ came on our screens in 1973 and a scandalous horror film was born. Many people collapsed due to the atrocity and psychological horror it delivered. But what was it that drove millions of viewers to put themselves through this bloodcurdling work of art?

Controversy sells and always will. If controversy surrounds a film, the more curious the cat will be. ‘The ‘Exorcist’ was made on a $12 million dollar budget and grossed over $441 million dollars. It was nominated for ten total Academy Awards in 1973, winning two. It is the first horror film to be nominated for Best Picture. In the end, the film won two statuettes. Best adapted screenplay and best editing.

To this day, it remains a mystery how over the course of shooting, a total of nine cast and crew members of the film died unexpectedly. Coincidence or spiritual inhabitancy will always be an ambiguity, however, the fact that filmmakers were tackling a subject matter that was blasphemous and risky, made us question, was this tackling with the fear of the unknown?

The Exorcist’ is a must watch horror film as it’s simply the greatest supernatural horror of all time. To this day, it still astonishes and unsettles its viewers like no other movie. If a film creates an impact where you’ll have difficulty sleeping at night; that is what you call a great horror film as it succeeded in its objective. ‘The Exorcist’ does that and then some.

Aly Lalji

Horror | USA, 1973 | 18 | Dir. William Friedkin | Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair

Day 1 | 2 | 3| 4 | 5 | 6 | 7