The Exorcist (1973) is a sensational, shocking horror story directed by William Friedkin, adapted from the 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty. This 1973 film is about devil possession and the sebsequent exorcism of the demonic spirits from a young , innocent girl (played by Linda Blair) and her mother’s (played by Ellen Burstyn) desperate attempts to win her back through an exorcism, conducted by two priests (Max vo Sydow and Jason Miller).
This film became the most profitable horrow film of all time and one of the highest earning movies in general. William Friedkin was representative of Hollywood’s first wave of hip, hot, young directors. His landmark achievement however would be his 1973 “The Exorcist”. “The Exorcist” is considered as a New Hollywood film because during the 70’s filmmakers such as Friedkin increasingly showerd gunfight and battle scenes, graphic images of bloody deaths. An example of bloody images is “The Exorcist”.
“The success, both critical and commercial, of William Friedkin’s films has been uneven since the release of his first feature in 1967. Although his works span several different genres, they share some common thematic and technical characteristics. His heroes are nontraditional and find themselves in unconventional situations or environments foreign to the average viewer. Technically, Friedkin often seems more concerned with creating mood and establishing atmosphere than with the progress of the narrative or character development. His great attention to detail and characteristic use of long establishing shot sequences do create mood and atmosphere but often do not contribute to the film as a whole.”
The Exorcist , a commercially successful film, is tedious throughout. The film plods along through an excessively long opening sequence (the significance of which is never made clear), a pseudo psychological explanation of the character Father Karras, countless close-ups of “meaningful” facial expressions, and predictable stages in both the possession and exorcism of Regan MacNeil. Friedkin does succeed at times in creating tension and suspense, but this mood is not sustained throughout the film. Apparently, the shock value of watching the disturbing physical transformation of Regan from young girl to hideous monster is enough to maintain viewer interest, since this continues to be a popular film.
Saeli, Marie. “William Friedkin”. 2011. Advameg, Inc.<http://www.filmreference.com/Directors-Fr-Ha/Friedkin-William.html>