Archive for The Exorcist

what an excellent day for a(nother) series renewal

Posted in Popular Culture with tags , , , , on May 14, 2017 by phanteana

when a TV series based on The Exorcist was announced last year, i was initially skeptical…after all, it’s a classic in both print and visual form and with the over-saturation of remakes and reboots infiltrating the entertainment industry, i feared it’s reputation would be slathered in pea soup. but when the pilot episode aired last September, i was pleasantly surprised and drawn in just as i was with the small screen version of Damien. but while the latter was sadly cancelled after one season, the former has been renewed for a second run. the first season’s highlight was the surprise return of Regan (and to a lesser extent, Chris) MacNeil. there are no details yet as to the plot for season 2, but for everyone who was curious as to whether the show would return, it looks like those prayers have been answered. amen!


(other)worldly possessions

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , , , on January 13, 2017 by phanteana

you know those Person of the Year stories featured in magazines? well, for 2016 the individual who graced more front covers than anyone else was the Grim Reaper, thanks to an overabundance of celebrities passing on. so it should come as no surprise that this year has started off with another bright star fading, and it’s one whose work left a frightening mark in both literature and cinema. he’s with Father Merrin and Father Karras now.


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“so long, Old Bill”

faith and fear on the big screen

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , , , on October 27, 2016 by phanteana

the days leading up to Halloween are usually set aside for watching classic horror films. the Horror genre is so wide, it encompasses many different stories. one of the most common themes in Horror is religion, and there have been quite a number of films that incorporate faith into the plot. here’s a list of the top 10 religious horror movies. plenty of the entries are widely recognized and critically acclaimed. in fact, The Exorcist is now a weekly television series, and has exceeded its initially skeptical audience’s expectations. one of the lesser known flicks on the list, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, is a standout because it combines horror with courtroom drama…now that’s something you don’t see everyday! but in all seriousness, it’s based on an actual case (as is a recurring pattern with movies about exorcism).

one thing to note from this list is that they have Christianity in common. but there are plenty of films where other faiths are highlighted throughout the story. a terrific example is The Possession, which is based on the Dybbuk Box story (a truly creepy one, too!) and presents its point of view from Judaism. no matter what path you follow, religious horror films (if done properly, as there have been some real duds produced over the years) are certainly an interesting topic of conversation all year round!

“that thing”

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , , on October 18, 2015 by phanteana

with Halloween just a few weeks away, scary stories are to be found in abundance both in print and onscreen. some are purely make-believe, while others prove to be frighteningly real. take The Exorcist, for example; although the story itself is a work of fiction, its inspiration comes from a true story that occurred in 1949. the subject of this account was fortunate to go on living a normal life after the ordeal. but for Adam Sturtevant, an award-winning writer originally from Boston (he currently resides in Austin), seeing The Exorcist as a kid would change his life forever. for Adam, possession took on a different meaning as he watched his father succumb to the effects of alcoholism. the essay he contributes to Electric Literature tells a story equally as haunting as the book or movie. but like Roland Doe and Reagan MacNeil, Mr. Sturtevant was able to pick up the pieces despite the disturbances in his life.

when people are asked what the scariest film they’ve ever seen is, the answer is usually The Exorcist (along with Jawsbecause shark attacks and demonic possession rank high on the list of terrifying experiences that are likely to happen among Americans). it forces us to examine ourselves and our faith, no matter what we believe in. it shows us that doubt is the real source of terror and that nightmares can be real, but we can keep them at bay if we are strong.

the power of William Friedkin compels y’all

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , on October 10, 2013 by phanteana

The Exorcist (1973) is one of those films people either really love or completely despise. this year marks the 40th anniversary of William Friedkin’s Oscar-winning film (for Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay) that made audiences sleep with the lights on and started a trend of theaters providing air sickness bags to patrons prior to showtime. the book, written in 1971 by William Peter Blatty, is equally disturbing since its origins are based in reality (it was inspired by a 1949 case that happened to a 14-year-old boy, but for obvious reasons of privacy the story was altered and centered around a girl of similar age). since it contains some very controversial scenes, it would be expected that those of devout nature would shun The Exorcist…ironically, its largest fan base isn’t those who attend Horror conventions but rather residents of The Southern United States. sure, it has a massive following in major film hubs like New York, Washington DC (where the story takes place), or Los Angeles, but folks in cities such as Chattanooga and Richmond seem to really dig it.

Noel Murray, a contributor to the ever-popular Slate website, blogs about growing up in the South and trying to comprehend why his observant classmates refused to see Jurassic Park (“dinosaurs are stupid”) but got a huge kick out of Linda Blair spewing pea soup and yelling obscenities at anyone who came within inches of her. it’s strange that possession and demonic imagery are perfectly acceptable in some parts of the US, yet listening to R.E.M. is considered blasphemous (a former girlfriend of Murray’s claimed Michael Stipe to be “evil”…i happen to like R.E.M., or at least anything up to 1994’s Monster. i am particularly fond of 1983’s Murmur and 1985’s Fables Of The Reconstruction). what a strange world this is.