"The Exorcist" by William Peter Blatty

I finished the book a couple of days ago. I really liked it, couldn't put it down. I expected the whole story to be about the actual exorcism and was pleasantly surprised by the way that the story developed, the way the tension increased. I love the character of the exorcist, the way his presence is expected thoughout, but the reader has to wait for him. I loved some of his thoughts on God, good and evil. Blatty's Catholicism was definitely evident at that point. And of course, the ending. I cried!

Some of the parts were seriously disgusting and sick (things that the poor possessed girl does) and what scares me most about this is that it is all based on a true story. Yikes!

Any fans of the book here?

I haven't seen the film and am not sure I'd like to. Is it any good?

I like the book. I keep a copy of it. I haven’t read in about 4 years. But, I have read it several times. As for the movie - rent the DVD and see what you think. I liked the cast and the movie. I haven’t seen the movie in many years.

I tend to read scary stories and watch scary movies.

I’m glad you liked the book and do post what you thought of the movie when you see it.

I read the book and saw the film decades before crossing the Tiber, and didn't see what the fuss was about.

NOW--- I have re-read the book, and I understand why my Catholic friends left the theater white as a fish belly.

Terrifying book, but also a riveting journey pitting faith against doubt.

(Once I got past the stylistic annoyances, that is).

[quote="Sailor_Kenshin, post:3, topic:208502"]
I read the book and saw the film decades before crossing the Tiber, and didn't see what the fuss was about.

NOW--- I have re-read the book, and I understand why my Catholic friends left the theater white as a fish belly.

Terrifying book, but also a riveting journey pitting faith against doubt.

(Once I got past the stylistic annoyances, that is).

[/quote]

I don't think the movie's scary at all. Unintentionally funny? Yes. Hysterical? Yes. Profane? Yes. But, scary? Hardly. Compared to something like "The Entity", "Poltergeist" or "Paranormal Activity," The Exorcist is getting less scary and more dated with each passing year. I'm sorry, but I just don't think there's anything remotely scary about a little girl's head spinning around and spitting goo on a priest. Not scary. Not "psychological" scary, not scary-scary. Sorry.

[quote="Sailor_Kenshin, post:3, topic:208502"]
Terrifying book, but also a riveting journey pitting faith against doubt.

(Once I got past the stylistic annoyances, that is).

[/quote]

I agree on both points :)

I found the doubt of Fr. Karras to be heavier that the case of possession itself - he was so tormented by it. I guess I don't really understand such doubt because I found it to be a bit too much - I mean, how much proof does a man need to believe that the case is the real thing? But the change in him at the end was wonderfully written: there is no explanation, it simply happens. He believes at the moment when he is left alone to deal with it and decides to go all the way. Wow. I was so moved at that point.

Actually, the book/movie itself is not based on a true story, more inspired by a true story. There is a book about the actual case that inspired the exorcist. I think it's called 'Possessed'. It's very scary.

Yes, I think that Blatty based the book on a true story written by a priest back in the 1920's. Maybe it was this book. Blatty changed the gender and age of the possessed child.

The movie producer left out some key lines which he thought were too theologically "Catholic," preferring a movie which could be taken as a simple horror film.

In any case, the younger priest in the movie would in real life not have been allowed within ten miles of an actual exorcism.

I saw an interview with Blatty on EWTN recently and he was talking about the material for the story. Apparently, he heard about it when he was at university, taking one theology course. The case was a local affair and the lecturer knew the exorcist in question.
The exorcist couldn't be involved with his book - something that Blatty hoped would happen. But when he was working on the adaptation for the film, he received this priest's journal in which the case was recorded.

I've found the link to the EWTN interview if anyone is interested.

youtube.com/watch?v=TZCxfKaPbR4

It starts at 27 minutes.

“The Omen” creeped me out more. Maybe because my mom let me see it when I was only in junior high. Yikes, mom!

Oh dear. The 1st and 2nd parts were seriousloy creepy. And that music :eek:
I remember watching it and then spent the night awake holding my rosary. Never again.

[quote="HeavenlyRoses, post:10, topic:208502"]
"The Omen" creeped me out more. Maybe because my mom let me see it when I was only in junior high. Yikes, mom!

[/quote]

[quote="Contra_Mundum, post:11, topic:208502"]
Oh dear. The 1st and 2nd parts were seriousloy creepy. And that music :eek:
I remember watching it and then spent the night awake holding my rosary. Never again.

[/quote]

The Omen is scary. I also saw the remake from 2006 with Liev Schreiber. It was a worthy remake.

That EWTN video clip is worth watching - I caught the interview a few weeks ago and it was refreshing to see such an accomplished Hollywood writer be serious about his faith!

The story of the Exorcist is at its core a Catholic apologetics story - the young boy who was possessed and his family actually converted to Catholicism during the exorcism (their pastor actually referred to them to a priest when he could not help them) and he remains Catholic to this day and does not cash in on his story. Also, he became possessed because his aunt visited and used an Ouija board. He was delivered by St. Michael’s intercession during the exorcism.

[quote="havana1, post:4, topic:208502"]
I don't think the movie's scary at all. Unintentionally funny? Yes. Hysterical? Yes. Profane? Yes. But, scary? Hardly. Compared to something like "The Entity", "Poltergeist" or "Paranormal Activity," The Exorcist is getting less scary and more dated with each passing year. I'm sorry, but I just don't think there's anything remotely scary about a little girl's head spinning around and spitting goo on a priest. Not scary. Not "psychological" scary, not scary-scary. Sorry.

[/quote]

I beg to differ. I saw it at 21, and could not sleep for 2 mights. I saw it again in my late 20's and again could not sleep.....and I won't watch it again.

Scary. Scary. Scary.

I've read the book and seen the movie probably ten times. I adore it. I enjoy the splendid way in which Blatty shows Father Damien going through a spiritual struggle doubting and wanting to give up and then ultimately gives his own life for Regan.

I think the most poignant part of the film was the END where Regan comes out to get into the car. She looks at the other Catholic priest standing there. Her eyes (the camera) zeroes in on his priestly collar, and she runs up and kisses him on the cheek, knowing it was the Catholic Church and the priesthood that saved her life. She didn't know him and didn't remember Father Damien but in her heart something told her to kiss him. It was touching, to me, to see the priesthood elevated to a level of dignity and hope in a movie like that when so often priests are the bad guys or killers or pedophiles or creeps or liberation theology loons in the big cinema. Love it.

Great message, great delivery, and I disagree with those posters that said this movie isn't scary. In 2010 it still scares the crud out of this ole boy! My wife too! Classic and classy flick.

Second scariest book I ever read

Are you begging the question here? :p

[quote="estesbob, post:16, topic:208502"]
Second scariest book I ever read

[/quote]

Salem’s Lot. In my opinion the greatest horror book ever written-and I think I’ve read them all!

I've read "Salem's Lot" twice. I found it a blast, a great read, well-written, and exciting but not scary. I found "It" to be far scarier than S.L. anyday. I read "It" (1000 plus pages) in high school in about three weeks flat along with all my piles of chemistry, English, Algebra, history and SAT work! LOL

[quote="estesbob, post:18, topic:208502"]
Salem's Lot. In my opinion the greatest horror book ever written-and I think I've read them all!

[/quote]

[quote="gurneyhalleck1, post:19, topic:208502"]
I've read "Salem's Lot" twice. I found it a blast, a great read, well-written, and exciting but not scary. I found "It" to be far scarier than S.L. anyday. I read "It" (1000 plus pages) in high school in about three weeks flat along with all my piles of chemistry, English, Algebra, history and SAT work! LOL

[/quote]

That was back in the days when Stephen King spun a good yarn. IMO he jumped the Shark with Cujo

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