Book to Screen : The Exorcist –– Do You Know What Your Cunting Daughter Did?
A visiting actress in Washington, D.C., notices dramatic and dangerous changes in the behavior and physical make-up of her 12-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, a young priest at nearby Georgetown University begins to doubt his faith while dealing with his mother’s terminal sickness. And, book-ending the story, a frail, elderly priest recognizes the necessity for a show-down with an old demonic enemy.
A Sneak Peek Into the Story :
The house was a rental. Brooding. Tight. A bride colonial gripped by ivy in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C.
Early on the morning of April 1, the house was quiet. Chris MacNeil was propped in bed, going over her lines for the neat day’s filming; Regan, her daughter, was sleeping down the hall; and asleep downstairs in a room off the pantry were the middle-aged housekeepers, Willie and Karl. At approximately 12:25 A.M., Chris glanced from her script with a frown of puzzlement. She heard rapping sounds. They were odd. Muffed. Profound. Rhythmically clustered. Alien code tapped out by a dead man.
She listened for a moment; then dismissed it; but as the rappings persisted she could not concentrate. She slapped down the script on the bed, and went to investigate.
She went out to the hallway and looked around. It seemed to be coming from Regan’s bedroom.
What is she doing?
She padded down the hall and the rappings grew suddenly louder, much faster, and as she pushed on the door and stepped into the room, they abruptly ceased.
What the heck’s going on?
Her pretty eleven-year-old was asleep, cuddled tight to a large stuffed round-eyed panda. Pookey. Faded from years of smothering; years of smacking, warm, wet kisses.
Chris moved softly to her bedside and leaned over for a whisper. “Rags? You awake?”
Regan was breathing regularly. Heavy. Deep.
Chris shifted her glance around the room. Dim light from the hall fell pale and splintered on Regan’s paintings; on Regan’s sculptures; on more stuffed animals.
At one point, Chris was sure that Rags was going to jump out of the bed any second, and yell : “April Fool!” But deep inside she knew that it wasn’t like her. The child had a shy and very diffident nature. However, if it wasn’t Rags making all those noise,, who was the trickster? Could it be that it was her mind playing tricks on her?
Bullshit! She had heard it, she definitely had!
Abruptly, she flicked a quick glance to the ceiling. There! Faint scratchings. Rats in the attic, for pete’s sake! Rats!
She sighed. That’s it. Big tails. Thump, thump. She felt oddly relieved. And then noticed the cold. The room. It was icy.
She padded to the window. Checked it. Closed. She touched the radiator. Hot.
Puzzled, she moved to the bedside and, touched her hand to Regan’s cheek. It was smooth as thought and lightly perspiring.
I must be sick! Chris thought to herself.
She looked at her daughter, at the turned-up nose and freckled face, and on a quick, warm impulse leaned over the bed and kissed her cheek. “I sure do love you,” she whispered, then returned to her room and her bed and her script.
Movie Versus Book :
You know, the fault might have been on my part, for setting such a high expectations on The Exorcist. I should have tempered down my excitement a tad bit, really, I should have. But truth to be told though, at the end of the day, when such a hype was surrounding a movie or a book, you have to admit that it’s going to be difficult to not be sucked into it as well.
And your girl was one of the victims. She was sucked into all that hype and excitement, and came out sad and disappointed.
I waited 20 years to watch this movie. I had a lot of chances growing up to watch The Exorcist, but for some reason, my brain commanded me to wait for “the right time” to watch it. Since it’s so scary and whatnot, I wanted everything to be right. Just so that I can get the maximum amount of scare in my system. Does that makes sense?
For one, I guess I’m glad that I waited. I waited until my horror-threshold was high enough to watch this movie, and ended up bored out of my mind. However, that’s a story for another time, as we’re all here today to read about the reviews and not here for a therapy session.
With that said, let’s get crackin’.
The Book :
If I were to summarize this book into 4 words, it would have to be this : Need some good editors.
Because –– holy shit –– the book was an absolute nightmare to read. All the time that I was reading it, it felt like I was wading through mud. I was literally reading it on a 2 hour train ride, and I barely progressed at all!
I honestly have no idea how the book got as high of a rating as it did on Goodreads, because I would be hard pressed to give it a 3 star just for how difficult it is to get through the book.
Another thing about the book that the movie didn’t went too deep into, is the religious talks. The talk of good and evil, demons and god, and all that ancient tales and whatnot.
I think it was –– again –– partially my fault for thinking that this book will be all about bodies elevating, heads turning 180 degrees, furnitures flying all over the place and gory blood everywhere. I mean, I supposed that I should have also realized that it was a 300 pages long book. There obviously needs to be some type of build up.
And I don’t mind buildups. I mean, your girl would prefer to be thrust into the middle of the scene without explanation and had her imaginary balls scared right off. But hey, buildups are good. Buildups are like warm ups, and I don’t mind it.
But when you use religion talks as buildups?
That’s where I draw the line and say no, no.
For me personally, religion talk is one of the thing that will always be a hard no. Had I known there would be so much philosophical talks about ancient gods, and religions and all that, I would have skipped the book altogether. But alas, your girl decided to go in “blind”, for the sake of horror and shock value. And well, the rest of the disappointment is history.
Suffice to say, I did not finish the book.
The Movie :
Having read the book, I was actually quite surprised that the movie went quite exactly as the book did. It was so interesting to see, especially when it has been known that movies tend to alter the book content to fit the movie storyline better. But with The Exorcist, that’s really not the case as they pretty much followed the book plotting to the T.
I would say that I enjoyed the movie better, as there is the visualization of the possession and all that jazz. Not to mention, it’s really nice to be able to see all the characters came to live from the book. Because I had a hard time picturing what the characters would look like when I was reading The Exorcist.
One thing that I would like to commend the movie for, is that it successfully made me dislike all the characters less. For some reason, when I was reading the book, a lot of the characters –– especially Chris –– came out a bit standoffish and self-absorbed. That is one of the reasons why I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I could have. Reading Chris, her thoughts and especially the way she speaks in the book, made me want to reach into the novel and strangle her.
With the movie, I think the actress did a good job of making the viewers like her enough to be interested in what is going on, at the same time managing the that bossy attitude that was seen in the book.
As for Regan, and the process of her being possessed, all of that didn’t affect me at all. Despite her amazing acting skills, the movie was unable to suck me in. It seemed to me, that it lacked that dark and disturbing vibe that most horror movies seems to have.
Sure, had I seen that movie as a kid, I would have probably been scarred for life. But as it is, that’s not the case. And I could not be any more unaffected by this movie that was supposed to be “horror”.
Last Thoughts :
Now, would I recommend this?
The movie? Sure, go right ahead. You might get some good scare from it.
But the book? Oh lord no. Trust me, you are not missing out on anything as the movie follows the storyline perfectly from the book. I mean, unless, you are interested in reading about the philosophical part of good versus evil. Then by all means, go right ahead.
All in all, I’m glad that I’ve watched it. I wasn’t satisfied with the outcome, but at least now when I hear people talking about The Exorcist, I’ll know what they’re talking about.
As for what this movie made me feel… I can’t say I feel a lot. There were some interesting parts, but other than that, my thoughts on both the movie and the book could be summarize with one word.
I’m sorry if I scared you with all of those gifs above. *laughs* Here’s a little something to rectify that :
I’m sorry if I scared you with all of those gifs above. *laughs*
Here’s a little something to rectify that :