Widely considered to be one of the best—if not the best—horror movies ever made, The Exorcist has been chilling audiences for nearly 50 years. If you’re a fan of the movie, you might think you know everything there is to know about it. But here are five fascinating facts about the making of The Exorcist that even die-hard fans might not be aware of.
5 Fascinating Facts About the Making of The Exorcist
- The visual effects team used live animals in some of the scenes.
- Many of the actors were so convinced that the movie was cursed that they refused to watch it.
- Some theaters had to hire psychiatrists to deal with scared moviegoers.
- One of the actresses was so disturbed by her character’s death scene that she had to be hospitalized.
- The film’s success led to a wave of demonic possession panic in the 1970s.
The Exorcist is a horror movie classic that continues to terrify audiences 50 years after its release. If you’re a fan of the movie, you might think you know everything there is to know about it—but these five fascinating facts about the making of The Exorcist prove that there’s always more to discover.
4 Film Adaptations of The Exorcist
The Exorcist is a 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty. The book has been adapted into four films, three of which were released in theaters. List of adaptations:
– Winner of two Academy Awards, nominated for ten. It Starring Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, and Jason Miller. Directed by William Friedkin.
Regan MacNeil (Blair) is a 12-year-old girl who starts to show signs of demonic possession. Her mother Chris (Burstyn) enlists the help of Catholic priest Father Damien Karras (Miller) and Catholic exorcist Father Lankester Merrin (von Sydow) to try and save her daughter from the demon.
The Heretic – Released in 1977, starring Richard Burton, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, and Louise Fletcher. James Earl Jones was intended to star but had to back out due to scheduling conflicts. Original director William Friedkin declined to return due to creative differences with the studio.
Regan MacNeil (Blair) is now 16 years old and living in New York City with her mother Chris (Fletcher). She is visited by Father Philip Lamont (Burstyn), a Jesuit priest who is investigating the death of Father Damien Karras (Burton). As Lamont gets closer to the truth, he too becomes possessed by the demon.
The Exorcist III
– Released in 1990, directed by Blatty himself from his own script. It Starring George C. Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif, Scott Wilson, and Jason Miller.
It has been 15 years since the events of the first film. Lt. William Kinderman (Scott) is investigating a series of murders that have been committed by a serial killer known as “The Gemini”. He soon realizes that the killer may be Possessed (Dourif), a patient in a mental institution who claims to be the Devil himself.
The Beginning – Released in 2004, directed by Renny Harlin and starring Stellan Skarsgård, Isabella Scorupco, James D’Arcy, Remy Sweeney, and Rachel Weisz.
Plot: This film is a prequel that tells the story of Father Merrin’s (Skarsgård) first encounter with the demon Pazuzu (D’Arcy). Set in 1949 Kenya during British colonial rule, Merrin is an archaeologist who is excavating a church that was built over an ancient temple dedicated to Pazuzu. When he discovers an artifact that belonged to Pazuzu himself, Merrin must use his own strength and faith to battle the demon before it can claim any more lives.
The Exorcist has been adapted into four films over the course of its history. The most recent adaptation was released in 2004 but there are rumors of another one being developed. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen but what we do know for sure is that The Exorcist is a story that continues to scare and fascinate audiences even after all these years.