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Believe it or not, this is actually a sequel to the horror classic "The Exorcist". An unofficial one of course, though it got made by the writer of the original novel- and the writer of the screenplay for "The Exorcist"; William Peter Blatty. So can you really call it an unofficial one really?

No doubt William Peter Blatty wasn't very pleased with the official sequel to the "The Exorcist", "Exorcist II: The Heretic" and he made this movie as a response to that. I actually think this information is important to know, since this helps to put some elements of this movie better in perspective. It explains the unusual story and approach to its themes and characters, as well as its overall style of storytelling and dialog.

But how exactly is this a sequel to the "The Exorcist" you might wonder. After all, it doesn't feature a possessed little girl, or any devils or demons in it and no priests armed with the bible and holy water. Actually the movie is more a further exploration of some of the themes and questions that got raised in the original "The Exorcist". Still the movie also is indeed connected to "The Exorcist", through one character; Capt. Billy Cutshaw. Now, I'll forgive if you have no idea who Capt. Billy Cutshaw is but he was the astronaut to which little Regan says; 'You're going to die up there' in "The Exorcist", before soiling herself. This must have really gotten to him, since in this movie he has completely gone crazy, after aborting his flight, literally right before lift off.

You also might not really realize it, since the horror elements overshadow the movie its underlying themes (not that this was a bad thing of course) but "The Exorcist" was a movie about a lot of other things as well really. For one it really was one that was about religion and also openly questioned it at times. And it's a movie set almost completely inside an asylum, so of course the movie is also featuring a lot of psychological aspects and philosophical questions but let me tell you though this is unfortunately ain't no "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", in terms of depth and exploration and handling of its themes.

This isn't always an easy movie on the eyes and mind, which is the foremost reason why I don't really regard this movie as a perfect- or truly great one. It's asking itself a lot of questions but is it all that interesting as well? Not always really and the movie even at times makes a quite pointless impression. Yes, it's a movie you could easily do without but when you watch it you'll probably still experience it as a truly special movie, especially when you know that it's supposed to be a sequel to "The Exorcist" and you have seen that movie of course but seriously, who hasn't?

Don't watch this movie and expect an horror though. Yes, so it's an unofficial sequel to "The Exorcist" and yes, it got done by William Peter Blatty but it yet has absolutely nothing to do with horror though, or even something that remotely resembles it. It's a drama-thriller if you have to put a label on it but best thing is not to label this movie at all. It's one that simply does its own thing and it's hard to put it in any existing genre really. It obviously means that this movie is something original and unique to watch but I wish I could also say that it was an absolutely essential viewing. I just really can't, the movie, its themes and the whole way its handling everything is just a bit too lacking for that.

William Peter Blatty still remained fascinated but its ideas and themes, since 9 years later he would direct "The Exorcist III", which actually can be seen as a combination of the first "The Exorcist" movie and this one. "The Ninth Configuration" and "The Exorcist III" are also the only two movies he ever directed by the way. He's still alive but considering his age it's hard to think he will ever direct another new movie.

An unique and at times fascinating movie but I really wouldn't call it a perfect one or a must-see.

7/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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