|Fig. 1 The Exorcist poster.|
On the surface, The Exorcist is a supernatural horror film that arrived in cinemas at a time when the genre was only just becoming recognised in the industry. There was a plethora of traditional horror films that came before that were mediocre at best, but The Exorcist challenged that. It is a highly thrilling film that still scares and disgusts the audience successfully, despite it being almost forty years old. As Steven Schneider explains that "The mordant reality of the horror film is never merely dark, but always dark and stormy. Regan...is not just possessed: her head spins 360 degrees, she vomits gallons, and we hear the piss hit the floor as the Devil’s work begins." (Schneider, 2004:153) This shows that the film contains many of the traditional techniques seen in horror films. The visceral imagery of urine and contorting bodies as the young girl falls deeper under the control of the demon possessing her are all associated with the horrific themes contained in movies from this genre. Part of a horror film's appeal is its ability to contain scenes that ordinarily would be considered criminal or inhumane to witness, but due to it's fictional setting the audience can be thrilled by the graphic imagery without there being any kind of consequences. These 'dark and stormy' activities allow the audience to be disgusted and entertained without being judged.
|Fig. 2 Mother and daughter.|
|Fig. 3 The priests exorcise Regan.|
List of Illustrations
Figure 1. The Exorcist poster. At: http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2010/269/f/a/the_exorcist_poster_by_markwelser-d2yfext.jpg
Figure . mum and daughter At: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm4293560064/tt0070047
Figure . Bed scene. At: http://yesteryearremembered.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/exorcist-photo-regan-rising.jpg
Nowell, Richard (2010) Blood Money : A History of the First Teen Slasher Film Cycle. USA: Continuum International Publishing.
Schneider, Steven (Editor); Andrew, Dudley (Contribution by); Rothman, William (Contribution by). Horror Film and Psychoanalysis : Freud's Worst Nightmare. USA: Cambridge University Press.
Williams, Linda Ruth; Hammond, Michael (2006) Contemporary American Cinema. GBR: McGraw-Hill.