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The original still leaves a mark

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By Erin Tobin

By Erin Tobin

It has been referenced to and spoofed countless times since 1974.

The mere mention of its title conjures up images of spider walking and split pea soup.

Clearly “The Exorcist” has left a mark on everyone. Even someone who has never seen the movie understands the basics of this pop culture icon.

One has to wonder though, if writer William Blatty ever thought his little story about an innocent 12 year old girl would impact the horror movie genre so much. Though there’s no computer generated images and the special effects seem slightly cheesy compared to what is possible now, many people still watch the movie with the lights on; at noon.

There is something about “The Exorcist” that strikes fear in so many people. There is no crazy serial killer and not much blood and gore. There is just young Reagan Theresa McNeil who is a perfect, innocent child for the first few scenes and then becomes something reminiscent of someone on Jerry Springer when she is possessed by the demon Pazuzu and starts speaking tongues and doing terrible things with crucifixes.

Coming to her rescue is a Catholic priest who has the some training as an exorcist, but currently doubts his own faith.

“The Exorcist” holds its head up high, and sometimes rotates 360 degrees, above other horror movies, but it doesn’t find itself protected against the sincerest form of flattery. The actress, who played McNeil, Linda Blair, played opposite Leslie Nielsen in 1990’s “Repossessed” which was a direct spoof of the “The Exorcist.” In fact, Blair has become not only the movie’s biggest name, but one synonymous with horror in general.

Regardless of the fact that the style of the movie screams 1970, it has stood the test of time. Unfortunately, “The Exorcist” was so good that the movies sequels have fallen on their faces.

In 2001 the movie touched new audiences when “the version you’ve never seen before” ran in theaters with all new footage that scares people all over again.

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