(1973, USA, 132')
The realism of possession (the preternatural phenomena, the vomiting, the obscenities) is the most evident aspect but not the heart of The Exorcist: it is not a horror film but a film about pain. Before bursting into Regan’s body, hell is already in human suffering (the homeless man, the senile mother, the mad women); and the devil’s purpose is to convince us that God does not love us. The legends of deaths on set or among those involved are urban myths; it is true, however, that various disputes arose, primarily the one between William Friedkin and the screenwriter-producer Peter Blatty over the cuts made to the initial 140-minute edit. But the film, in its re-releases, is gradually returning to that original version.
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