Friday, March 27, 2009

Exorcist: The Beginning

This supposed mess of a film sure was exorcised from theatres lickety split being slammed by critics and viewers alike clear across the planet. It was a troubled production right from the get go much as I`ve heard was William Peter Blatty`s LEGION of which this is loosely based. John Frankenheimer was supposed to direct and then bowed out literally weeks before he died, then Paul Schrader took the helm but the studio didn`t like what he produced so Renny Harlin was brought in, along with a retooled, less cerebral script and Izabella Scorupco as a doctor I don`t recall ever having been in the novel. Doesn't matter to me as I'm always happy to see this Polish beauty who sadly doesn't do enough film work. The Schrader version does exist though I have yet to see it so what we have here is an attempt to give the back story behind the Father Merrin character made so famous by Max Von Sydow in the original. Stelland Skarsgard does duty and the young priest (oddly enough 10 years older in real life than when Von Sydow played the role!) who has lost his faith. Granted, the film is not a great one and the main reason is they present it in the same fashion as a FRIDAY THE 13th film, characters are pretty much introduced only to die in a gruesome fashion while little bits of religious stuff float about in the background and they mix in some message about how bad the Nazis were in World War II. This is not necessarily a bad thing. If you take the film on this level it's not that bad. Skarsgard does a fair enough job carrying it and for my money it was worth watching just to see Scorupco turn into a devil bitch! Oh, did I ruin something for you......don't'll see it coming from a mile away. All in all, not nearly as bad as the Reny Harlin bashers would have you think though of course you are still way better off with the original.


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