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Exorcist: The Beginning  (2004)

 

Rating: R

Distributor: Warner Home Video

Release Date: March 1, 2005
Review posted: March 28, 2005

 

Reviewed by Jon Bjorling

 

SYNOPSIS

 

Before young Regan MacNeil was possessed by the Demon Pazuzu, a younger (and faithless) Father Merrin battled the Demon in East Africa.

 

CRITIQUE

 

The fourth Exorcist film has had a long and troubled road. With three directors having been attached – John Frankenheimer (who stepped down from the project shortly before his death,) Paul Schrader (who was fired after delivering a film that the backers hated,) and Renny Harlin (who reshot the film and gave the backers what they wanted) - the final product shows the chaos that is Exorcist: The Beginning.

 

Harlin’s gore filled Exorcist prequel follows in the long line of sequels that should never have been made. While this prequel could have brought insight into the nature of the Demon and why it targets the victims that it does, the film instead attempts to be a rehash of the original, just with the blood and guts that seem to be requisite with horror films today. The film has incomplete CG effects, cardboard performances, and no scares whatsoever. There are attempts, but all are laughable.

 

Would Paul Schrader’s version have been a better film? We won’t know until sometime later this year (if Warner is still looking to release his version.) However, one thing can be said, there is absolutely no way that his version could be any worse than Harlin’s.

 

THE VIDEO

 

The digital transfer looks beautiful. The colors are rich and the black levels are consistent. It’s a very good presentation.

 

THE AUDIO

 

The film is presented in both DTS 5.1 Surround and Dolby 5.1 Surround. Both mixes have some really good ambient work.

 

THE EXTRAS

 

Commentary by Renny Harlin: Harlin’s commentary track isn’t that interesting to listen to. He brings a little insight into the filmmaking process, but spends more time looking at the story, than anything else.

 

Behind the Scenes featurette: A standard “I like working with this person” interview bit. Nothing worth checking out.

 

FINAL THOUGHT

 

Exorcist: The Beginning isn’t worth your time.

 

VERDICT: SKIP IT

 

Home | Back to Top

 

:: The DVD

 

:: DVD Ratings

 

THE MOVIE

1

THE VIDEO

9

THE AUDIO

9

THE EXTRAS

3

OVERALL

2

 

:: Merchandise