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4.0 out of 5 stars The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology., 17 May 2013
This review is from: The Exorcist - The Complete Anthology : The Exorcist / Exorcist 2 The Heretic / Exorcist 3 / Dominion The Prequel / Exorcist The Beginning (5 Disc Box Set) [1973] [DVD] (DVD)
Six films from the Exorcist franchise are included on this release. They include: The Exorcist, Exorcist II: The Heretic, Exorcist III, The Exorcist: The Beginning, and Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist. In my honest opinion the films were very interesting and were pretty good, but of course the original is always the best and the one masterpiece that cannot be compared. Obviously with a collection of this nature, the quality of each individual film varies wildly. Presentation-wise, the box and DVD menus are all fantastic. The first film is an undeniable classic, the second an unintentional comedy, the third a good slasher (of sorts) film and the two prequels interesting as an experiment in how much an individual director can bring to a movie; Dominion is simply stunning, and the Beginning is entertaining enough. In all, a worthy purchase for any horror fan.

The Exorcist is considered to be one of the best horror flicks, if not the best, period. Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) is a famous actress making a movie in the Washington D.C. area. She has brought her 12-year-old daughter Regan (Linda Blair) along for the shoot. When the child starts showing signs of some very disturbing behavior, Chris has a battery of medical and psychological tests done. Stumped by whatever's causing the problems, the doctors suggest Chris seek out the help of a priest. They believe Regan has convinced herself that she's possessed by a demon. Chris contacts Fr. Karras (Jason Miller) and asks for his help. After investigating the claims, Karras is convinced that Regan is indeed possessed. The Church then calls on Fr. Lankester Merrin (Max Von Sydow) to perform the exorcism ritual. Nominated for several oscars during the 70's, not only is it a great fright flick but it was also a cinematic masterpiece.

The Exorcist II: The Heretic. It's been several years since the strange case of Regan MacNeil and the Georgetown possession. The church, desperate to clear up all questions surrounding the death and reputation of Fr. Merrin, asks Fr. Phillip Lamont (Richard Burton) to investigate what happened during Merrin's fateful encounter with the Devil. He seeks out Regan, who is currently seeking psychological treatment from Dr. Gene Tuskin (Louise Fletcher). While she has no real memory of the events, Regan still is haunted by mystical visions and involuntary actions. Considered to be the worst of the bunch and I have to agree, although it can be quite laughable and amusing at times.

Exorcist III. Lt. Bill Kinderman (George C. Scott) who investigated the Georgetown possession several years back, now has another notorious case to deal with. When a young black boy is found murdered in a gruesome, ritualistic fashion, the cop sees all the signs pointing toward a past nemesis. Georgetown was plagued by a series of killings 15 years before, and the perpetrator--an enigmatic criminal named Gemini--was eventually caught and executed. However, with the strikingly similar M.O. and a sudden resurgence in faith-based crimes, Kinderman thinks there's a possible connection to the MacNeil situation. With some great performances from the cast (especially from Brad Douriff as the Gemini killer) and a nice spooky atmosphere, I thought it was a great and underrated sequel.

Exorcist: The Beginning. During World War II, Fr. Lankester Merrin (Stellan Skarsgård) was witness to an unspeakable act of brutality by the Nazis. His part in the crime has now driven him from the church. During this lapse in faith, Merrin finds himself in Africa, overseeing the excavation of a long-buried church. It seems that this desert site is rumored to be the exact location where Satan fell once he was expelled from Heaven. Dominion basically had the same plot with a few difference here and there, it also had some awful cgi scenes, but overall they were an interesting watch.
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