Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

The Exorcist: Classic that still puts us in a spin

Last night's special Belfast Film Festival screening of the horror classic The Exorcist came with a brief introduction from BBC Radio Ulster's Ralph McLean.

Attempting to put the 1973 shocker into some context for a largely young audience, he mused that it was "not the very first of the modern horror films, but it's the one that made bucketloads of money and marked the end of the Gothic horror era".

McLean rattled through all the key lore surrounding William Friedkin's Oscar-winning film.

As for the film itself, it was a treat to see it in the cinema again – albeit projected from a Blu-ray Disc – and it has lost none of its chilling power after 40 years.

The head-spinning, the pea soup-vomiting and the crucifix-manipulating had the small screening awash with shrieks of terror, punctuated with bouts of nervous laughter.

In an age when seemingly every horror film from the 1930s onwards has been remade – generally to disastrous effect – it's reassuring to know that with some movies, only the original will do.

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