I finally sat down and watched this movie today. I had heard from my parents that when it came out, it was one of the scariest movies that they had seen ever. On many lists it ranks in the top ten as one of the scariest movies of all time. I wasn’t allowed to watch it when I was little, so I just watched it in my twenties for the first time.
My reaction, it was quite scary. On a scale of 1-10, I would give it like an 8-9…but I’ve never been very good at watching scary movies so I might be biased. I think if I had watched it when I was younger, I would have had some real issue. But, after it was over, I felt pretty normal, not like when I was younger and I’d be scared for days after seeing a scary movie…so I guess it pays to wait for certain things until you get older…so my parents were probably right not to allow me to see it when I was young.
Anyway, if you aren’t familiar with the movie, it’s about a little girl who gets “possessed,” by an evil spirit. The evil spirit basically takes over her body and three people end up being killed as a result (whether direct or indirect) of the evil spirit. At first, the mother and everyone thinks the little girl is simply psychotic so they take her to a bunch of doctors and then a psychiatrist, but she assaults the psychiatrist and starts speaking in a guttural, manly, yet inhuman voice. So, they summon some priests to come and exorcise the evil spirit out of her.
There was some disgusting scenes in there and also some vulgar language used. The most cruel scene was when the evil spirit was taunting one of the priests about his recently deceased mother and it said in it’s guttural, inhuman voice horrible things about the priest deceased mother and it was just cruel…
The film was supposed to have been based on a true story of a boy who was possessed and acted very similar to the little girl, except maybe not as dramatized…but I know not everyone believes in that so I’m not going to get into the religious aspects of it, but from a pop cultural standpoint, it was pretty scary…even for someone of my generation.
My generation is a bit more used to hearing the vulgarities and seeing the gore (whether that is a good thing or not is debatable) so I wasn’t terribly shocked by the language used ( and maybe that’s a bad thing) however at the time the film was made I can’t even imagine what audiences must have been thinking. The film came out in 1973 and at that time, you really didn’t hear that type of vulgar language much in films…you definitely didn’t see as much gore as was present in the film etc…so I’m sure test audiences in 1973 were ready to pee their pants to say the least…
any way, regardless of your religious beliefs, it is definitely on the scarier end of the scary film scale…at least a 7, if not a 9.
Anyway, that’s just my little review on the film, I know that I’m about four decades late on this guys lol…but I just wanted to post about it. The sad thing is, as scary as that film was, scarier things have happened in reality and that’s’ really scary.