Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.



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The Exorcist

Film #118


When a girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Year 1, Day 118

BEFORE: Today is The Exorcist day of horror-week. It’s an epitome of a great horror film as I believe it is the only one to ever have been nominated for Best Picture. (It’s something I’ve heard repeatedly but I wasn’t able to find any mention of that in my quick research).

AFTER: As a rule of thumb, I don’t like horror films. That may seem counter-intuitive since I have a whole week dedicated to the genre but there is a method to the madness. While horror may not be my favorite genre, it’s still good to watch films that are out of your comfort zone; try some films you know you probably won’t like because even bad films can be entertaining and informational in their own way.

The reason I typically don’t like horror films is because they usually fail in a key area; scare-factor. Much the same reason I didn’t find many of the baseball films earlier in the month entertaining because they weren’t focused solely on baseball. With horror though, I have the advantage of having seen many films in the genre so I’ve gotten past the notion that the film isn’t good if it doesn’t scare me. Keep these ideas in mind as the week unfolds and classic horror films are consumed.

So what’s all this have to do with The Exorcist? Well, first and foremost, it was a good story. In the beginning, it seemed to be much more of a drama than a horror film. Even the horror parts (they were certainly creepy and upsetting, but not scary per se) were more cinematic compared to another film from the genre. I especially liked the style of the film with the pacing established through the editing (created suspense and mystery through varying shot lengths depending on the scene) and camera work (what I’m guessing was a high shutter speed in the beginning-resulting in choppy movements-and several zoom effects that were very subtle).

As far as horror goes, The Exorcist is a very well-made film. If you are a fan of the genre, you’ll most definitely enjoy the film a lot. However, as someone who is more of a fan of mysteries and science fiction films, The Exorcist, while still a good movie and worth a watch, isn’t a perfect score on entertainment value.

RATING: 4 out of 5