The Exorcist (1973)

Drawing on a primordial current of our most engrained fear – with aggressive horror, wildly-disturbing imagery, & religious combat as iconic as its Georgetown steps and demon-walk, The Exorcist is the scariest movie ever made. 9.7/10.

Plot Synopsis: When a young girl named Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting odd — levitating, speaking in tongues — her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A local priest (Jason Miller), however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil. The priest makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow) to help with the difficult job.

*Possible spoilers ahead*

Most Memorable Moment: Father Merrin’s approaching the house for the exorcism in the milky moonlight and exorcism itself

Pros: Nothing more frightening than the Devil and the evil religious imagery this film invokes – plays on our most basic and primordial instincts and fear and draws on a current bigger than itself in delivering what is an absolutely shockingly scary film, iconic setting in Georgetown and the famous ‘Exorcist steps’, strong acting by all cast members especially Father Karras, Regan, and Chris, phenomenal character development (an extreme rarity in Horror movies, perhaps even a little too much time spent on it in the beginning but still effective in making the horror hit harder), eery cinematography and dim-lit scenes set the tone and dark atmosphere blending with and highlighting the film’s evil themes, medical scenes well-done even if they make the professionals seem too dull when knowing they’re dealing with something out of their depth here, Regan’s descent into darkness and possessed performance UNBELIEVABLY scary and acted by Linda Blair – perhaps the scariest thing ever put to cinema in history (can definitely see why it was reported that some moviegoers actually FAINTED when they saw how horrifying Regan looked post-possession) and worthy of its title of scariest movie ever, phenomenal middle act of showing Regan’s gradual descent and absolutely perfect final act with the iconic Father Merrin’s approaching the house for the exorcism in the milky moonlight (cinematography and lighting techniques at its very FINEST) and the exorcism itself, meticulously crafted and smart script that keeps you on the edge of your seat for (mostly) the whole long 2 hr 15 min ride with well-placed scares and surprises, intriguing mystery/crime drama angle making us guess what is really going on or if perhaps we are just being paranoid, one of the largest legacies on film ever – was one of the first biggest box office blockbuster openings, impacted horror and pop culture to this day, and changed what was acceptable for filmmakers to show on the big screen

Cons: Slow opening act and drawn-out character introductions, a few parts feel more crime drama/mystery than Horror – would have been perfect if all horror like ending

Official CLC Score: 9.7/10