I have a serious film obsession. I am kind of addicted to going to movies–I love eating popcorn in the dark, and those moments when the audience reacts to something in unison, and the fact that everyone is in there together, seeing the same thing, and yet having their own, separate experience. There is something magical about movie theaters, I’m positive.
One of my favorite movie genres is horror, but I’m picky about them. Slasher films aren’t my thing (unless they’re campy to the point of hilarity), and things like both versions of “Funny Games?” Egh. No, thank you. Michael Haneke can judge me for watching horror movies all he wants. At least I didn’t spend millions of dollars making the same horror film twice.
But if you give me a good scary movie–ooh, I love it. Chill me. Keep me up at night. Make me jump a foot in the air. I’m a down for this experience. Being a little frightened can be very, very fun.
A few years ago, a local theater played “The Exorcist” during Halloween. I’d never seen it, and I called up a friend who I’d known had seen “The Exorcist” and asked for her opinion: How did it hold up? She said it was dated, but that she thought I’d like it. It was “okay,” in her opinion. Not too scary. So I didn’t bother inviting anyone else, just turned up at the theater, got my popcorn, and got ready to watch my not-too-scary film.
Only that friend is apparently the lyingest liar to ever lie because “The Exorcist” is terrifying.
I mean, there are scary movies, and there are scary movies. “The Exorcist” is the latter. Twelve-year-old Reagan plays with a ouija board and then starts acting funny–using bad language, showing abnormal strength. Head spinning around. Not the usual pre-teen kind of thing. Two priests are brought in to conduct an exorcism. It doesn’t go well.
It’s a simple premise, something that’s been done in the movies countless times–but it’s never been done this effectively, before or since. The spiderwalk scene, cut from the original film but restored in the version I saw, is twenty seconds of nightmare-inducing terror, and arguably the scariest scene in any film, ever. Period. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself. I literally climbed my chair in the theater.
Not everyone is down for a scary movie, but if you’re looking for a spine-tingling time this Halloween, check out “The Exorcist.” Be smarter than I was about it, however, and make sure to have a friend on deck to hold your hand during the worst bits. When I got home from seeing it alone, I made all my roommates sit in a brightly lit room while I hugged a pillow. I was twenty-three and had no excuse. It was not my proudest moment.
If you end up watching the movie, make sure to let me know what you think. 🙂 I hope everyone has a spooky and fun Halloween!