The Exorcist 1973, Part 1. The film is based on a supposedly real case in th USA in 1949, and the events which affected the life of a 14 year old teenager. The writer William Peter Blatty wrote a successful novel based on these events, which formed the basis for the 1973 film. As the director of The Exorcist, William Friedkin, points out, one of the things which made the greatest impression on the public was that they did not use castles, vampires or aliens, but rather the frightening incidents presented in the film took place in the middle of the 20th century and happened to ordinary people in a completely normal house. What takes place is intimidating because it allows the possibility that your house, which you imagine is a refuge from the outside world and where you live with your family, can become the cradle of a diabolical evil which can attack your loved ones. In the year 2000 a remastered version was released, including additional scenes which had been omitted from the original. With regards to this, the director William Freidkin indicated in 1998 that these scenes were not really necessary for the film's development, whereas the writer William Peter Blatty stated that they should have been included because they emphasised the relationships between the characters.
Review: The Exorcist is a film which some have categorised as the greatest work of the terror genre, but I believe that this is undeserved as there exist other films of equal quality, or perhaps even better. In the early 70s the Mexican community had some extremely deep-rooted religious customs, which meant they were very moved when they were shown the way in which a demon posessed and corrupted a sweet young girl, with bloody masturbation with crucifixes, vomiting and other strange things. With respect to these disturbing scenes, we should point out that they had been in use since 1963 in gory films, characterised by excesses of blood and violence, but because of the independent nature of this kind of films, their distribution was limited and they reached only a small audience.
The powerful Warner Brothers company distributed The Exorcist at an international level, but the general public, more used to an unchallenging Hollywood style, were not prepared for these vile and profane scenes. Even thought The Exorcist was a very strong film for its time and caused revulsion, the public formed long queues at the cinema to witness the events of this damned film, which in the end became a social phenomenon. In Mexico it had such an impact that, according to some who were there at the time, entry was prohibited to pregnant womena and those under 21, and there were ambulances outside some cinemas to care for those who had fainted, and during the showing some of the audience kept their eyes closed so as not to see the abominations and blasphemies being shown on the screen. The triumph of The Exorcist triggered numerous imitations and two sequels; part 2 was disappointing, and part 3 returned to the sinister atmosphere of the original. Even 30 years later, the film is still effective because of the high quality production. Its impact is strong, and causes the viewer to reflect and question the implications of the existence of good and evil, how both these forces can be manifest, and the triumph of good as the best outcome for all. I invite you all to enjoy this film: watch it at midnight with the lights off and the sound up. I leave you with a quote from William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist: 'This film has the power to make the public react, but this power is not evil'. Translated by: Ely PH