Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)
Directed by Renny Harlin
Writing credits William Wisher Jr.
Stellan Skarsgård .... Father Merrin
Izabella Scorupco .... Sarah
James D'Arcy .... Father Francis
Remy Sweeney .... Joseph
Julian Wadham .... Major Granville
Andrew French .... Chuma
I was in Florida when this movie came out. I was just about to leave when Hurricane Frances came rolling straight at me. I wasn't going anywhere. We spent all day putting up storm shutters to try to stay ahead of the destruction barreling our way. We had to improvise a little bit when the brain surgeons who installed the shutters forgot to give us a crucial piece. So where there once would be shutters, there was plywood. I had never lived through a hurricane before. If you want to experience death knocking on your door, window, roof, etc., I recommend going through a Category 2 hurricane. For even more fun, we tried walking the dogs during the storm. When the second branch wizzed by my head, I decided it was time to hide from Frances. Ahh, good times.
So you're asking yourself, what does any of this have to do with "Exorcist: The Beginning"? One word: Apocalypse. Father Merrin heads to Africa. There's something funky happening in a buried church. What the heck is going on? Is there a demon involved who wants to possess people? Is the movie called "The Exorcist"?
I thoroughly enjoyed "Exorcist: the Beginning". It's not a great movie but it has its charming B-movie ways. There are plenty of vicious gore scenes to keep your mind occupied as you wait for the Exorcism scene. That scene is the key to the movie's success.
*SPOILER ON ENDING*
So throughout the movie, we think that the little kid is possessed by a demon. As I'm looking at the kid, I realize that he won't be able to handle acting like he's possessed by a scary demon with a deep voice. He's just not a good enough actor. So I resigned myself to another mediocre horror movie ending. Then, in a pure B-movie madness moment, the filmmakers let the woman with the heaving breasts be the demon's plaything. YES!!! Good call! The Exorcism scene lasts for about twenty minutes and it has all the right ingredients. Foul mouthed demon, deep voice, slinking on walls and large demonic breasts all make for a satisfying conclusion.
SCORE: 3 out of 4 Florida apocalypses