Wednesday, October 3, 2012
This was written about a month ago, when I was recording my thoughts on my blind spot movies as I watched them. Since I wrote this, I've seen two or three more of my blind spot movies and sadly, have not done as good a job of keeping track of my thoughts on them. But, in the spirit of getting back to blogging, here are my thoughts on The Exorcist. Mega spoilers in here.
3:42 - Strange medallions always mean the devil!
5:52 - Glazed eyes always mean the devil!
6:11 - He's writing in Backwards Archaeology Code. That must mean the devil!
9:49 - ...Fighting dogs mean the devil? (OK, I'll stop doing that now. Although it has always been difficult for me to take scary demon movies seriously.)
10:07 - See, and this is why supernatural scare movies often don't sit well with me. They're so vague. So an old guy saw some fighting dogs and a statue that was the same as something he dug up. Why is this scary? Because of the music. That's all.
11:33 - Demons climb in through the window. And sometimes they come down the chimney, like Santa.
17:14 - And then she threw her daughter under a train for stealing a cookie. The End.
17:43 - The Exorcist is scared of The Homeless Man.
21:18 - He turned off the radio and turned up the movie's background music.
22:52 - Nothing like a fun Ouija board session with Mom.
23:30 - Maybe Reagan just got a demon as a birthday present. Some people just aren't good gift-givers.
27:30 - "My bed was shaking." Maybe my house doesn't have a overreacting washing machine after all. It's just a demon that shakes my bed around from time to time.
29:00 - Wait, a candle? Were flashlights uncommon in 1973?
29:20 - Mousetraps don't work for demons. They don't like cheese or peanut butter.
32:30 - OK, I'll admit it, this weird humming is creeping me out. But psychologically creepy more than anything else.
35:10 - "I think the best explanation is always the simplest." What could be simpler than demons? People have used that as an explanation for years.
36:15 - Wow, this scene in the home for old people is actually perhaps the scariest bit so far. It's so sad!
37:45 - This commentary so far makes it sound like I'm berating the movie for not being scary yet. I am totally OK with slow build-ups. I promise I'm not attacking it.
38:46 - Do I know this British actor? He seems so familiar but I can't actually place him.
39:00 - This priest likes to hang out with goth chicks.
39:35 - "Dear, are you trying to strangle the other guests again?"
43:00 - GET HER OFF THE BED. Tackling her fixes nothing.
45:00 - Wait, the faithless priest is dreaming about old archaeology man's experiences? Well, THAT'S weird.
46:39 - Heh, yeah, "muscular spasms" doesn't even begin to explain what happened there with the bed.
52:16 - Daaaaang. That jumping back and forth from clearly helpless little girl to crazy demon was kind of intense and made me go, "OH MAN THAT POOR KID."
53:29 - Split personality still doesn't cover the fact that she was being FORCIBLY TOSSED IN THE AIR. I just tried to duplicate that myself and, yeah, you can't launch yourself into the air all that easily from a lying down position.
56:18 - THERE WAS A FACE ON THE WALL BEHIND HER
56:30 - AND ON THE DOOR
56:35 - AND PROBABLY ON THE KID
57:05 - She looks so little under that mound of blankets. I like how the kid isn't portrayed as being creepy or evil so much as just being a victim.
58:37 - Commercial break?
1:03:27 - Oh! I forgot all about the Mary statue. I had no idea what they meant by desecration in the church.
1:07:00 - Exorcism recommended by doctors? Wow.
1:07:49 - No, if you were taking your daughter to a witch doctor the title of the film would be The Witch Doctor. Incidentally, this film is hardly about the exorcist at all. It's about the exorcism, or the exorcisee.
1:10:58 - Wait, those people are her SERVANTS? She must be much more well-off than I thought. Although I guess she has been able to afford some pretty high-priced medical procedures and such.
1:12:00 - Wait, the guy fell out REAGAN'S window? How did I miss that?!
1:14:00 - I just got super distracted wishing I had a watch again. That must be how I keep missing plot points. Like that the guy fell out of Reagan's window.
1:16:11 - Surely NOW they'll accept that it's not a psychological disorder.
1:25:40 - Is Archaeologist Guy ever going to show back up again? When we left him last, he was staring ominously at a random statue.
1:34:00 - But surely "help me" being written on her stomach wouldn't be the work of a demon. Why would they want anyone to help her? So maybe Reagan just has magical powers too.
1:36:06 - Yay, Archaeologist Guy returns! I don't know why I say "Yay" other than the fact that I was just curious about where he went.
1:36:28 - It's not the demonic powers that are scary in this movie - it's the pain and torture they're causing this little girl. Seeing her so helpless is awful.
1:39:22 - Hold on, baby priest's name is DAMIAN? How is the antichrist kid going to help exorcise anyone?
1:43:57 - OK, I am not all that squeamish about gore, but I do NOT like vomiting.
1:45:46 - This is kind of an incredible climactic scene to happen just in someone's bedroom while two people speak and another one is tied to a bed. It is somehow just as tense as if people were chasing each other through a haunted house. (Interestingly, the same director did Bug, which was a one-room thriller that terrified me. Apparently this is where his talents lie.)
1:49:49 - "Why this little girl? It doesn't make sense." "I think the point is to make us despair."
1:50:54 - Hold up, now. Is Old Priest on drugs or is that legitimate medication?
1:55:50 - What? Old Priest is dead? CRAP.
1:56:55 - Oh, that's cool. He sacrificed himself.
1:57:09 - But, man, talk about lifelong damage to that child's psyche. I mean, obviously it was the right choice, because continued demon possession isn't really an option, but MAN.
That was an incredibly well-paced, believably-done horror movie. While I wouldn't say it *scared* me at almost any point, it did have plenty of tense moments and, above all, filled me with a sense of horror at how the demon tortured the little girl. While many films might overdo the "creepy child" effect, here it was so *very* clear that it wasn't Regan, but something possessing her. There were moments where all of a sudden you'd hear Regan's voice or see a glimpse of her and think, "Oh, my gosh, that poor girl is in there somewhere." That, to me, was the most interesting part of the whole movie. It wasn't just a Good vs. Evil fight - it was a fight over a person. It was a fight to make sure they didn't destroy Regan. And that was, for me, where it succeeded the most.