Friday, August 20, 2004

Review – Exorcist: The Beginning

I read in an entertainment magazine somewhere that the studio brought in Renny Harlin to basically reshoot the whole movie after the first director (Paul Schrader) created something that wasn’t scary enough. And it shows. To an extent this is an interesting prequel to the original, making a conscious and reasonably skillful effort to tie forward to some of the action in Friedkin’s production – particularly the Iraq sequence at the beginning, which was always my favorite part of the movie. But grafted on to the archaeological horror I love so much were a ton of booga-booga shots, elaborate gore and other trademark Harlin sensationalism. This leads me to suspect that the first version of the movie would have been something I would have loved, while the eventual theatrical release was just another fright flick. This weakness shows up especially strongly in the scattering of plot points that go nowhere and seem to bear little relationship to the overall structure. And I don’t expect there’s even any point in getting into the gender politics of the series at this late stage in the game. So suffice it to say that this one lurks somewhere between the heights of numbers one and three and the depths of number two. Mildly amusing

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