3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Oldie but goodie, 15 Sep 2011
I might be subjective, but then it's a personal review. Watching the 1973 movie again made me buy this anthology in hope to see a rounder story. I gave good time to watch the five movies to make sure they can sink in, and to avoid making a marathon of this. Still, my conclusion is - Some things are better left unsaid.
My disappointment in the 1977 movie can be summed up like 'A glazy gazed Richard Burton walks through the scenes as if he's reading his lines from the storybook, seemingly with no attention - or at least, no ears - to what the others say around him, that is most of the time.' This is not to underestimate his play at all. Also I couldn't believe this movie was produced by John Boorman whose version of Excalibur I love so much. And then the story, the conception is just great - the implementation... I wonder where it went all wrong. While the main characters were played by the same actors, I simply couldn't get even close to that feeling The Exorcist gave to me.
In my opinion the 1990 follow up is still much closer to the original story. However it's a bit hard to understand for me, how could William Peter Blatty, who was also the author of the book The Exorcist, not make this novel of his any better as the director. I did recognize some jokes, and a few lines from his 1971 novel, used again in this story. Though I haven't read his book Legion, I'd find it somewhat surprising if he deliberately mentioned those again word by word. Once again the idea is grand, and I could only wait to see the realization being equal to it... right until the end. Is Blatty a better writer than a director? Maybe so, I'm not the one to tell, neither if that was the reason why I felt cheated with this movie, too. But it left me longing for something more.
The Prequel and Dominion seem to have a touch, going somewhat deeper into the original story. Even though they're twins, not Siamese though, I loved them both. One's more theatrical, the other more realistic. In a way I prefer not to see too many miracles.
That's what I love in The Exorcist, apart from the violent self-abusing part, I think it keeps to the style of thriller. And all those intimate and intimidating things happen in a microcosmos, no earthquakes, no Biblical plagues. It's all very everyday-like even with those few 'mirabile dictu' scenes. Everyone seem and act so real and human, so they make you believe the unusual, too. It makes one think, expect, hope, and doesn't give everything self-made in your hands. I feel that this is the key to its success. At the same time, I don't think it couldn't have been made in the sequels and prequels.
In other words my advice is, so you don't have to consult your ouija board, for this user friendly price, it definitely worth to see all the movies. Even if you'll find in the end that The Exorcist which might also make you buy this anthology, is hard to beat, but it was a great inspiration for quite a few other movies.