Spooky Movies: Exorcist & The Omen

Just in time for Halloween. Spooky movies!


The Exorcist

Directed: William Friedkin
Starring: Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, Max Von Sydow

Young girl gets possessed by the devil and needs an exorcism to rid her of the evil.

When I first saw this movie, I was in junior high spending the night at my friend’s house. Her family is extremely religious and hated any movie that had swearing in it, let alone violence. We would rent horror movies all the time to watch in the living room during sleep overs. We just had to turn the sound way down so her parents wouldn’t wake up and see what we were watching. I will always remember the scene where Reagan is stabbing herself with a crucifix while shoving her mother’s face in her crotch as being so revolting, but I was so sure we were all going to hell if my friend’s parents found out what we were watching. They never did, but I think I was too busy being frightened about being caught so I couldn’t be frightened by the movie. I remember thinking the movie was good and creepy, but it wasn’t scary. That changed after watching it again.

The movie is super freaky and while watching it one stormy and dark night (it really was!), I went to sleep and had visions of Reagan coming to get me. eek! I think that leads back to my fear of small freaky children as evil more than anything else, but that didn’t help matters any when I was trying to sleep.

Before getting to any of the creepy parts though, the movie sure did take its time getting to the craziness. Watching a movie made in the ’70s with its long-lensed, lingering shots and comparing it to the quick motion editing of today is very apparent. There was also so much time spent on building up the characters before the craziness started. If this movie wasn’t made until today, we never would have really known what the mom and daughter were like before everything started happening. We would have had only a quick shot of something evil being uncovered on the archeological dig site, and then the girl would have started to go all wacko. I think all of that build up really helped make everything terrifying at the end, more so than it would have been if it wasn’t there.

The only thing I didn’t understand was the detective that was so interested in going to the movies with the priests. What was up with that?

Rating: A


The Omen

Directed: Richard Donner
Starring: Gregory Peck, Lee Remick

A family raises a child that is actually the son of the devil. Oops!

This is a movie that freaked me out when I watched it the first time many years ago, but didn’t so much the second time around. I still really enjoyed watching it, but I was giggling at Damien’s total evilness more so than I expected to be freaking out about watching another evil kid. The only part of the movie that I remembered was the first nanny telling Damien it was all for him before she went jumpy jumpy.

Everything that was once freaky and scary, I found very amusing the second time around. I was very distracted with Gregory Peck’s character being about 20 years older than his wife. We were also distracted whenever he would talk to her and say her name three times. We would repeat, “Kathy, Kathy, Kathy” right after he did and missed whatever important character development was going on between the two parents about their potentially evil child.

The hounds of hell were everywhere, but I don’t find dogs scary, so I said they were only growling because no one was petting their bellies. The new nanny was sufficiently creepy, along with the way the photographer discovered the shadows on the pictures of people that ended up dead. Also, when the photographer and the dad were off in Italy searching for Damien’s real “mother”, that was disgusting, but also awesome.

Even with the the movie not being very scary to me now, I still think it is an excellent scary movie, especially for someone that hasn’t seen it before and doesn’t get extra commentary from their viewing partners. I also love the smile from Damien at the end. Evil!

Rating: B


Created this site in 2002. Pop culture and entertainment lover for much longer-- tv, movies, music, books, cowbells, and armadillos.

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