What else can be said about The Exorcist? It’s one of those hallmark films that we know all about…even if we’ve never seen a single minute of it. We know the story, we’ve seen the parodies, we’ve caught the references, all of it. The Exorcist is just one of those definitive movies, one that we all know whether you’ve actually seen it or not. And now Warner Home Video has released a new edition of the movie to both DVD and Blu-ray just in time for the Halloween season. If you haven’t experience The Exorcist, well, now is your chance to jump on for an affordable price.
Controversial and popular from the moment it opened, The Exorcist endures as a defining classic that influenced movies afterward and still shocks and haunts today. The frightening and realistic tale of an innocent girl inhabited 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 in battling ultimate evil always leaves viewers breathless. In the Extended Director’s Cut, director William Friedkin and producer/screenwriter William Peter Blatty integrated over 10 minutes of footage deleted before the film’s 1973 release. They include moments deepening the impact of a first-rate ensemble’s remarkable performances and reinforcing the film’s grip on its audience. A phenomenon of its time and for all time, The Exorcist astonishes and unsettles like no other movie.
Alright, given that we all know what The Exorcist is all about, the actual movie review portion will be brief. What else can be said about this flick, said by those far more talented than myself when it comes to writing these reviews.
To put it right out there, to state something to painfully obvious, The Exorcist is the best horror film ever made. A genuinely disturbing experience that will stick with you long after the credits roll. There are plenty of great horror films, a plethora of them, but The Exorcist has an indescribable edge that puts it above all others. I’ve seen this movie plenty of times over the years, usually around this time of year, and it never fails to rattle my nerves. There are plenty of other brilliant horror films, but none really resonate quite like this one.
The Exorcist works because it feels so real. The subject matter could be considered pretty wild, devil possession and all that, but the way the movie approaches it sells it in such a realistic fashion. The meticulous detail used is pretty incredible, and the pursuit of an intelligent explanation by the mother of the possessed girl, before resorting to an exorcism as a last resort, feels authentic and logical. It’s something that feels like it could happen today, and the choices made feel like something made in the real world. And that’s what makes the film so effective. It feels real.
The film also works in plenty of different ways too, depending on the background of the viewer. I can remember debates among friends where some believed the mother of the child had this coming, while others believed it was a random attack by the devil to make us small human beings remember who really has control. Regardless of whatever the viewer believes, the movie just strikes hard. The collaborative effort here has resulted in such an incredible product. It’s sold on the strength of the fearless acting, the solid guiding hand of the director, and the superb wordsmith of the screenplay. Everything just works, and it works perfectly.
Like I said above, the movie portion of this review is brief, but, boy, I could ramble on and on about how just excellent this film is. While this film isn’t exactly for the weak of stomach, it really is something that everyone should experience. It’s a genuinely haunting movie, a horror film that will actually stay with you far beyond the final roll of the end credits, something that just isn’t done these days. The Exorcist is unforgettable and, thanks to the latest DVD and Blu-ray release from Warner Home Video, is now widely available for the remaining few to experience genuine horror. Highly Recommended.
Released on both DVD and Blu-ray, Warner Home Video has given The Exorcist a pretty light but still worthwhile DVD release. Fans of the film may want to pursue the Blu-ray release, which is packed with plenty more extras and a beautiful high-definition transfer, but newbies or casual viewers will definitely suffice with what is found here.
In terms of audio and video quality, Warner Home Video has given The Exorcist a very crisp, ridiculously clear standard definition transfer. Blacks are solid and the detail is excellent for a standard DVD release. The 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track is just as spot on. Every speaker gets used, usually to horrific effect during some of the more tense moments. While Warner Home Video has been focusing so much on Blu-ray as of late, this release shows they haven’t forgotten about DVD when it comes to providing a quality audio/video experience.
Sadly, the extras are kind-of light. We get an audio commentary with director William Friedkin and a collection of theatrical trailers and TV and radio spots. As I said about, the new Blu-ray release of The Exorcist is definitely the way to go, especially given the wealth of material featured on that release, but this DVD release is a nice primer for casual fans or those renting the disc looking for a bit more background. The commentary delivers just that, insight into the production of this classic.
Quite honestly, there are previous releases of The Exorcist on DVD with far more bonus content, and the new Blu-ray release also features a wealth of new material, so this new DVD release of the landmark features seems more adept for those looking to rent the movie or picking it up on mere curiosity. If you’re looking to own the movie, I implore you to pick up the new The Exorcist Blu-ray release, but this DVD release does make a good alternative for those looking to rent, are curious, or are just uninterested in bonus content. Any way you cut it, The Exorcist comes Highly Recommended to own, but be sure to pick the proper release when it comes time to pick it up.
The Exorcist is now available to own on DVD and Blu-ray.