The Exorcist sets the Tone

The Exorcist, directed by William Friedkin is not only a clear definition of a New Hollywood film but it is also a film that set the new tone for horror films. Prior to films like The Exorcist, we had psychological thrillers that kept you biting your nails and on the age of your seat such as Alfred Hitchcock’s film psycho, however no film had truly set the tone for New Hollywood horror quite like The Exorcist. The film is about a young girl named Regan (Linda Blair) who is being possessed by the devil. Through out the film Regan’s mother (Ellen Burstyn) tries desperately to “get her daughter back” by having her priest perform an exorcism on the young girl. The New Hollywood qualities are very apparent through out the entire film. The profanity used by the child and the very graphic sexual content were not a part in films prior to New Hollywood. The very idea of the demonic possession was not something that was discussed and definitely not something that was played on the big screen. Many say that The Exorcist set the tone for horror films. Similar films such as Rosemary’s Baby and the Omen were released after the Exorcist showing just how influential The Exorcist really was.

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