The Exorcist Thread

Started by Silver Nemesis, Fri, 25 Mar 2022, 22:45

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I have only seen the main Conjuring films. The spinoffs look very appealing. But I haven't prioritized watching them. And mostly because I want to buy them and they haven't gone on sale yet.

As you say, this is an original IP unrelated to film or comics or novels or whatever. And that's just as attractive to me as it is to you. And for the same reasons, I imagine. It would be nice if Hollywood could get back to relying on original IP's, even if they make endless sequels to them.

Were the Warrens frauds? It's not easy to say. Plus, I'm not an expert on demonology. But what little I do know harmonizes just about perfectly with what the Warrens always said. Still, the conclusion I've reached is that I don't need the Warrens to have been real and truthful in order to enjoy these Conjuring films.

As to a Conjuring thread, I'm not sure if there's enough interest to warrant that. But hijacking The Exorcist thread seems wrong somehow. So, I'm open to whatever.

Also, your remark about Wan's absence from TCTDMMDI is certainly true. I do enjoy the film. And yet, I have to wonder where Wan would've taken the same material. The Occultist probably would've been a more menacing villain in his hands, frankly.

Quote from: Silver Nemesis on Mon, 10 Apr  2023, 20:11I also highly recommend Insidious (2010) if you haven't already seen it. It's directed by James Wan, stars Patrick Wilson and feels like a test run for The Conjuring series. It's very scary and has one of the most unnerving scores in horror movie history.
Insidious has been on my list for a while now. Frankly, I don't know much about it. And I've avoided learning anything (other than the participation of Wan, Wilson and Byrne) precisely so I can watch it fresh and enjoy it (or not).

Well, wouldn't you know? The four movie bundle went on sale so I snapped it up. I'm guessing the upcoming Insidious movie has something to do with that.

Separately, I don't understand the impetus behind releasing the next Insidious film any time this month considering the virtual onslaught of other films coming out. This is especially true considering that there are better/less competitive release windows later in the year.

Anyway, I'm about to get the first Insidious going. I'll follow up later with my thoughts about it.

re: Insidious

Very enjoyable film. I've got another horror franchise to follow now. I definitely understand what SN means by referring to Insidious as a warm up for The Conjuring.

Here's hoping the sequels can measure up.

So far, I think I like the storyline and the characters of The Conjuring better. But at the same, Insidious has creepier and more atmospheric visuals. So, I guess it's kind of a wash.

Both franchise are definitely worth checking out for those of you who haven't done so already. In a thread ostensibly dedicated to The Exorcist, if you enjoy that film, then Insidious and The Conjuring should be in your wheelhouse.

I am compelled by Exorcist: The Beginning and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist because it was one of those remarkable cinema occurrences where not only was a film completely rewritten and re-shot, but the result is two films completely on opposite ends of the spectrum. On their own the films aren't anything but minor footnotes, but together it is incredible to see two wildly different takes that are the result of a production company not understanding what they wanted. They went from a film that was too 'indie' to a movie that was the epitome of mindless blockbuster schlock.

Of the two, Dominion is superior as it has a better handle on characters and drama and creates a more suitable mood for something like the Exorcist, but it lacks 'pop' and often times the supernatural aspect feels like an afterthought. It is missing the oomph and is too easily left in strange, existential territory that, while interesting, never has that big payoff. It is well directed and acted, but it needs a push.

Beginning is an overreaction. Instead of doing minor re-shoots they redid the whole movie. It's like being in a car and seeing that you are slightly crossing over into the shoulder, so you jerk the wheel in the other direction as far and as hard as you possibly can. So, the car fishtails and then flips over. You slide through the retaining wall, tumble down a hill, and then plummet into a quarry. Renny Harlin, basically competent yet unremarkable action movie director extraordinaire steps in to do do what he does and there ya go. This was the guy who managed the second worst Die Hard movie which entertains only because it literally just follows the Die Hard blueprint. It's Die Hard, ya know, but like...in an airport.   

I still haven't seen Dominion, but I'd like to. It's Paul Schrader after all, and Blatty liked it, so I imagine it must have some merit.

Quote from: Gotham Knight on Mon,  3 Jul  2023, 14:54This was the guy who managed the second worst Die Hard movie which entertains only because it literally just follows the Die Hard blueprint. It's Die Hard, ya know, but like...in an airport. 

Oh, I like Die Hard 2. You're not wrong about it being a play-it-safe retread, but I still enjoy it more than the fourth and fifth movies. If nothing else, it's the most Christmassy entry in the series.

Harlin also directed Cliffhanger and my second favourite Nightmare on Elm Street movie, so I confess to having a certain affection for his early work. The Long Kiss Goodnight wasn't bad either. He's not a great filmmaker by any stretch, but he made some entertaining popcorn flicks in his heyday.



"Imagination is a quality given a man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humour was provided to console him for what he is."

I'm afraid it looks like another generic legacy sequel to me. I'll probably just re-watch the original in October to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The trailer gives me Candyman (2021) vibes - a retread that succeeds in approximating the serious tone of the original, but falls short of its quality and inventiveness. I don't think Danny McBride is up to recapturing the theological depth and precision of Blatty's work (unlike Friedkin's movie, there are no priests or doctors listed as technical advisors on the IMDb page; just one parapsychologist specialising in the occult), and I don't see why it needs to be the first part of a trilogy. If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it's that you can kill anyone... and that it's really hard to make a good Exorcist sequel. The only person who pulled it off was the franchise's creator, Blatty himself. What makes Blumhouse think they can make one good Exorcist film, let alone three? Aside from bringing back Burstyn, what's going to separate these movies from the hundreds of Exorcist clones that have been released since 1973? Judging from the trailer, nothing.

Speaking of Burstyn's return, why would someone go to Chris MacNeil for help dealing with possession? Chris wasn't involved in the exorcism in the first film and didn't even really believe in it. She just asked for help from the church out of desperation. I get that they want to bring back an actor from the original as part of the legacy sequel formula, and that most of the other cast members from Friedkin's film are dead, but wouldn't it make more sense for the characters to contact an actual exorcist for advice?

Put another way, if there's an invisible man sleeping in your van, who you gonna call? The Ghostbusters or Dana Barrett? I'm not knocking Burstyn, whose performance in the original is superb. But bringing her character back now just seems a little desperate. Presumably they're planning to bring Linda Blair back in one of the sequels, or perhaps even the post-credit scene. That would be the obvious thing to do.

So my expectations for this are low right now. It might be good, but I'm not holding my breath. Without Blatty, it's all just fan fiction anyway.


I will try and comment more later, but I just wanted to post this short video going over the brilliance of Blatty's original 1973 film.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsqMgvSO35Y


"Imagination is a quality given a man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humour was provided to console him for what he is."

Quote from: Silver Nemesis on Tue, 25 Jul  2023, 21:23there are no priests or doctors listed as technical advisors on the IMDb page
If there had been, they would've said that a possessed person entering a Catholic parish and standing in such close proximity to the Blessed Sacrament would be a source of excruciating pain and agony. That's fairly common knowledge in the Catholic world. And since the original film largely worked with the Catholic Church's understanding of demonic possession, sequels are (or ought to be) bound by the same rules. But apparently, that's not happening.

I understand that it's a creepy visual to see a demon-possessed girl interrupt Mass. But the Catholics will be happy to tell you that something like that is very unlikely, and maybe even completely impossible. Simply being in close proximity to a Catholic parish is thought to be torturous for the demon-possessed. But actually entering one? Yowch!

Quote from: Silver Nemesis on Tue, 25 Jul  2023, 21:23If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it's that you can kill anyone...
Never get tired of these references.

Quote from: Silver Nemesis on Tue, 25 Jul  2023, 21:23it's really hard to make a good Exorcist sequel. The only person who pulled it off was the franchise's creator, Blatty himself. What makes Blumhouse think they can make one good Exorcist film, let alone three? Aside from bringing back Burstyn, what's going to separate these movies from the hundreds of Exorcist clones that have been released since 1973? Judging from the trailer, nothing.
I get the idea that McBride thinks he discovered a formula in Halloween 2018 and is now applying it to The Exorcist.

But as you say, the number of deceased cast members combined with the numerous copycats makes it very difficult to recapture what made the original Exorcist so special in its time.

Plus, Halloween is a special case. What works for that franchise can't easily be exported to other franchises. I think history shows us that. Just because bringing JLC back worked for Halloween 2018 doesn't mean that bringing Burstyn back for this new Exorcist will work too. And who knows? It very well might. But I have my doubts.

If you're determined to do it, I say own the fact that few other surviving cast members are available. Position Chris as an authority on the Catholic understanding of demonology, possession, etc. Don't go to such a length as to make her a clone of Lorraine Warren. But definitely set Chris up as a font of information as well as someone with a personal stake in this kind of spiritual warfare. Her agenda is to spare other families the pain and trauma that she experienced.

Of course, the public thinks of Chris as a fringe weirdo because sumthin sumthin possessions aren't real. Nevertheless, she keeps plugging away in the hopes that she can help at least one person.

Lacking any alternative, the characters in the new movie decide to reach out to Chris for an opinion on the matter. And after some convincing, Chris agrees to do it... only to discover that she's encountered this particular demonic entity before. And that makes her a viable threat to the demon because she knows (or can find) his name.

Quote from: Silver Nemesis on Tue, 25 Jul  2023, 21:23Presumably they're planning to bring Linda Blair back in one of the sequels, or perhaps even the post-credit scene. That would be the obvious thing to do.
That, I think, is the plan.

And a glance at her wiki page indicates that her schedule is wide open for such a thing.

The one thing I can say for this new film is that the father gives me serious Denzel vibes. From his overall screen presence to even his voice, he just has that kind of energy to him. I'm not about to fork over a ticket price just to see him in action. But I have to say he is very impressive in that trailer.

Quote from: thecolorsblend on Wed, 26 Jul  2023, 02:36If there had been, they would've said that a possessed person entering a Catholic parish and standing in such close proximity to the Blessed Sacrament would be a source of excruciating pain and agony. That's fairly common knowledge in the Catholic world. And since the original film largely worked with the Catholic Church's understanding of demonic possession, sequels are (or ought to be) bound by the same rules. But apparently, that's not happening.

I understand that it's a creepy visual to see a demon-possessed girl interrupt Mass. But the Catholics will be happy to tell you that something like that is very unlikely, and maybe even completely impossible. Simply being in close proximity to a Catholic parish is thought to be torturous for the demon-possessed. But actually entering one? Yowch!

The bit in the trailer where Chris says something along the lines of, "Every culture and religion use different methods, it's going to take all of them.", if I'm gauging this correctly, seems to imply that the Catholic faith and authority, as far as this film's storytelling is concerned, is going to be reduced to some degree. To what extent? And does this route ultimately hurt the film since this is taking place 50 years following the previously established events (as Colors mentioned above depicted largely under the lens of the Catholic Church's understanding of Exorcisms) of the 1973 original?

I can understand the desire to be more broad, but at the same time, it does come across as going against the grain. So to speak.



"Imagination is a quality given a man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humour was provided to console him for what he is."