Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The scariest movie of all time

Or... is it?
You probably know what I am talking about already: The Exorcist.

I had watched it already, but recently, with some friends who had not seen it, we decided to spend a saturday evening watching what is deemed to be a classic. What to say about it? I hesitate between amusement and terror. As opposed to current horror movies, which are really graphic and do not hesitate to go even further is the gory and bloody images, this movie is more about suggestion. The dramatic music played behind sets up a heavy atmosphere, which means every spectator is on tenderhooks, waiting for something horrible to happen. Then some things do happen (for instance Regan going down the stairs upside down) and we are actually relieved it was not worse. So you laugh - but are you laughing because you are relieved or are you laughing because the pressure, acting, decor and images are just a tad too much, and you are relieved to ease the tension a little?

The movie leaves you in a state of tension that you do not necessarily realise: while we were watching, the nieghbours upstairs were a bit noisy (a sort of knock knock knock made likely by walking with heels on a wooden floor) and that made us jump. When I left my friend's place to go back home I felt a bit queasy walking down a dark corridor. That's probably the genius of this movie: in itself, especially in 2011, it is not scary. Other movies were more terrifying. But it still leaves you with an uneasy feeling. Of course, we have to remember this was released in 1973, probably the first of this kind ever released, and must have come as a huge shock at the time.

Kudos to young Linda Blair - even though huge piles of make-up were involved, her eyes convey the changes throughout the movies as well as the malice of her character. Contrary to popular belief she did not go insame later in life, from what I gather some drug issues put an end to her career. 
What surprised me though was the mother: her daughter is giong crazy, she is possessed, and her only solution is to restrain her and close the doors? A bit of a passive reaction in such a situation, but then again I am no expert. I just remember wondering about it.
I still do not know what to think of the movie - deep inside, it was more terrifying than I dare to admit, that said it is definitely a must-see!

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