Our generation has introduced what I would call the “Technological Era.” It is what’s defining us. Just look at today’s cinema experience: 3D expansion is rising with over two dozen films slated for a 3D release this year. But what did our parent’s cinematic generation have to define its era? They had the New Hollywood wave. Without it, some of our generation’s most memorable movies my not exist.
Each generation likes to believe that they were the first to do something grand. The New Hollywood era can distinctly hold that title thanks to the release of movies like Dog Day Afternoon, Apocalypse Now and Rosemary’s Baby.
But the one that I believe stands out the most is the horror classic The Exorcist.
Released in ‘73 and directed by William Friedkin, The Exorcist tells the story of Father Mirrin (Max Von Sydow) trying to release the demon held within the young Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair, in an Oscar nominated role.) Supporting actors include Oscar nominee’s Ellen Burstyn and Jason Miller. It is still to this day one of Hollywood praised ‘possessions’ (get the pun). The movie is also a topic of heated debut by film historians regarding one of the movies most iconic scenes: the spider-walk scene. Was it real? Or not?
Compared to today’s lackluster horror films (mostly remakes) that rip-off the films topic like The Exorcism of Emily Rose or last years The Last Exorcism, The Exorcist was nominated for an astounding 10 Oscar including Best Picture. It is perhaps one of the few horror films ever released to achieve that much success, which speaks to its character.
Today’s young audience has no idea of the cinematic wasteland that lay behind them. Today’s movies are rip-offs, remakes, sequels or just plain stink and we believe them to be originals. The Exorcist holds a spot in cinema history that cannot be touched which is why I believe it to be one of, if not, the greatest movie going experience to come out of New Hollywood.