The SHALLOWeen Series: The Exorcist
This Halloween season, I'm presenting a new feature: The SHALLOWeen series! I'll share a series of very shallow assessments of all the movies (and the one music video) that have ever scared me. Get ready... I'm a true 'fraidy cat.
How am I supposed to do a properly shallow recap of this movie if it scares me to death?
The Exorcist is arguably the scariest movie of all time. Many people refuse to watch it because of this. I’ve seen it four times, and each time I’m unnerved to the point of wanting to cover my eyes or fast-forward. This time was no exception. So I’m going to ask that you let me skip over the scary parts and go to my happy place over the next few paragraphs. Thanks for your understanding… Here we go:
Actress Chris MacNeil and her daughter Regan are temporarily living in Georgetown while Chris films a movie. Everything seems all right until Chris starts hearing strange noises in the attic. When mouse traps don’t seem to work, Chris is only a little flustered, but when Regan starts acting strangely (making ominous predictions to house guests, peeing on the floor, complaining of anxiety), things take a sharp turn for the worse. Especially when REGAN’S BED STARTS SHAKING AND TREMBLING VIOLENTLY AND REGAN GETS TOSSED IN THE AIR … LALALALALALALALA... HAPPY PLACE!!!
OK. OK. I think I’m fine now. So anyway, Chris is baffled by the sudden change in her daughter’s disposition, so she consults a bevy of medical professionals to diagnose Regan. The best they can come up with is that a brain lesion is influencing Regan’s bizarre and sometimes violent behavior, so they start in with the X-rays and the needles and the blood-squirtingly realistic spinal tap…
OMGTHISISGROSS! I CAN’T DEAL WITH THIS!!!!
Whew. All right. Calming down now.
None of these tests work, and Regan’s behavior worsens. When the director of Chris’s film, Burke Dennings is thrown out of Regan’s bedroom window and killed, Chris realizes the issue with Regan can’t be purely medical and reconsiders the medical panel’s advice to pursue an exorcism.
Having learned about a local priest named Father Damien Karras, Chris asks him for help. Karras checks things out at the MacNeil house and discovers that Regan is indeed possessed by a demon. The demon claims to be the devil, but Karras is skeptical. This is also the moment when the demon SWEARS AND VOMITS ON KARRAS, and I CANNOT HANDLE IT!!!!!
It’s clear they’ll need an expert (and the demon, Pazuzu seems to demand they get one), so Karras convinces the archdiocese to summon Father Merrin, an elderly priest with lots of exorcism experience. He is also an old adversary of Pazuzu, so the demon wants this final showdown.
Merrin arrives, and here’s when IT POPS OFF.
EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS NEXT IS LOUD AND TERRIFYING AND VULGAR AND I DO NOT EVER WANT TO SEE IT WHEN IT HAPPENS BUT I JUST SAW IT AND NOW I CAN’T THINK ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE AND I HATE IT!!!!!!!!!
The demon’s goal is to induce overwhelming despair, and Karras’s and Merrin’s is to instill faith. To find out who wins in the end, you have to watch it, but I’m warning you… it gets ugly.