Wednesday, 27 October 2010
The Exorcist (2 Disc Blu-Ray)
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I'm not going to bore you all talking about the plot of The Exorcist. I can imagine most people know what the film is about! Instead I'm going to tell you about the discs and if it's worth buying or not, and a bit of the backstory about the inspiration behind it.
On disc one there is the extended directors cut. This cut has one of the more infamous scenes, the "spider walk" scene, a slightly different opening and ending, and a few extre scenes of dialogue thrown in. Extras include a directors commentary and a few new featurettes including never before seen, on set footage.
The featurettes are:
Raising Hell: Filming The Exorcist - In this feature, cast and crew talk about making the movie. It has behind the scenes footage of the film and it also goes into why the movie was so controversial when shown for the first time. I personally found this feature quite informative.
The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now - Basically shows you how the locations look now compared to back when the film was made.
Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist - A look at the different versions of the film. Director William Friedkin talks about the reasons some of the shots were cut for the theatrical release and how this led to the fallout between him and the writer, William Peter Blatty. Again I found this extra quite good.
Disc two has the original theatrical cut. Also on the disc are two commentaries, a directors and a writer/producers commentary.
There are also some extra features. These are:
1998 Documentary, The Fear of God: The Making of The Exorcist - This is the BBC documentary presented by Mark Kermode and featuring interviews with cast and crew. This is genuinely entertaining and Mark Kermode clearly has a passion for the film. It goes into the making of the film and the media and public phenomenon.
Interview Gallery with William Friedkin and William Peter Blatty - This is split into three topics. The Original Cut, The Final Reckoning and Stairway to Heaven. Blatty and Friedkin share their memories of the movie and are quite entertaining as they talk about both the film and the novel.
Also there is a collection of the original trailers and tv spots for the film.
The films both really benefit from the improved picture quality and the sound has never been better than on this set. If you have a blu-ray player then this should be in your collection. The film is a true classic. When you take away the controversy surrounding the film what you are left with is an intelligent, well acted, well written and well directed movie that, after 27 years, still has the power to shock just as effectively as when it was released.
As for my opinions on the story that inspired the novel of The Exorcist, I believe that there isn't really a "true" story out there i'm afraid. William Peter Blatty wrote a memoir on the book entitled "William Peter Blatty On The Exorcist From Novel to Film". In the book he talks about his inspiration, a 1949 Washington Post article he’d read as a student when he was at Georgetown University. The piece, which ran August 20, told of a 14-year-old boy from nearby Mount Rainier, Maryland, who had undergone an exorcism.
Whether these events actually happened or not can't be proved by myself but that is apparently where the idea comes from. Online there are about a million different stories all claiming to be the real story so it seems the "true" story is a bit of a myth.
Well that's what is on The Exorcist (2 Disc Blu-Ray). I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much I've enjoyed writing it! Also please comment and let me know your thoughts!
I was going to write a couple more reviews but it's starting to get a bit late now. Hey tomorrow's another day! I can either write about Alejandro Jodorowsky's insane mexican western/art film El Topo, or Don Taylor's shockingly funny The Omen 2. I'll let you decide! :)