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Exorcist: The Beginning
DVD disk
03.04.2005 By: Quigles
Exorcist: The Beginning order
Director:
Renny Harlin

Actors:
Stellan Skarsgård
Izabella Scorupco
James D’Arcy

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Once a priest, now an archeologist, Father Merrin (excuse me, “Mr.” Merrin) is persuaded to help uncover the secrets of a church buried in Africa. It isn’t soon before everybody but him realize there is evil dwelling from inside the church, and strange occurrences continue to happen. As the story progresses, strange things keep happening, Merrin keeps not believing, and we keep not giving a shit. Time to bury this puppy down with that church, because it sucks!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING starts out promisingly enough, with a creepy and bizarre set-up, but after the first ten minutes or so, the film doesn’t have anything interesting to say. It’s simply a series of gross-out and strange scenes that don’t build-up to squat. I could write paragraph after paragraph of things wrong with this shit-pile of a film, but instead of boring you with that (like this film did to me), I’ll just lightly touch on each issue. First off, if CGI is going to be a major part of any movie, it should at least look decent and not destroy the atmosphere. All the CGI in this film (and there’s a lot) looks fake and annoying. We get CGI hyenas, buildings, breath, bugs, storms, and lots more (all of which looked awful and distracting). Second of all, extreme gore doesn’t make for good scares. Loads and loads of blood, dead bodies, and gross-out scenes are thrown at us, as if waiting for us to scream. Instead, we sit there waiting for the flick to move on to something substantial (I’m still waiting). After all, plot comes first. The third (and most important) issue is that it’s, well, boring as hell. The movie plays more as a series of bland “mysterious” incidents rather than having a continually engaging story. I mean, we already know what’s going on (this is a prequel after all), so should we have to wait over 90 minutes of the 2-hour film to “discover” it?

Trying to think of redeeming factors for the movie is difficult, but I’ll give it a shot. I guess the gory effects in the film looked pretty darn good. I was certainly grossed out well enough. On a note concerning the gore though, I just wanted to question what Harlin’s (or the writer’s) problem with kids is. Numerous children in the film are killed brutally, and it didn’t so much disturb me as it did make me wonder what the hell is wrong with the person who put it in the movie. We see a cute little girl get her brains blown out, a boy get torn apart by hyenas, and more sick stuff. The only other high point of the film is near the end when things finally kick into gear, but by then, it’s way too late. Any remaining people watching will be overly bored and uninterested to start caring all of a sudden. Lets hope Paul Schrader’s vision of the movie isn’t worse than this stinker.
THE EXTRAS
Seeing as how this movie was deeply hated by many, we only get a few extras. I wasn’t complaining though.

Commentary (by Renny Harlin): It’s nice to see at least Harlin was devoted to this mess of a film. He gives a deeply informative exploration of the film with a no-nonsense approach. Had the movie been any good, this might have been worth a listen.

Behind the Scenes (8:09): A standard boring and bland making-of featurette. Covers nothing more than the plot and more basic uninteresting aspect of the film.

Cast & Crew Bios: Hey, I remember these! They used to come with all DVDs, but just sort of vanished. Now we see them only when DVDs don’t have any worthwhile extras to watch. Point in case: this movie.

We also get a Theatrical Trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
In the end, what we basically have is a crappy “horror” film with cheap scares that don’t scare, un-thrilling thrills, dramatic scenes that lack emotion, and blood… lots and lots of blood. The extras are “whatever”, the movie is awful on many levels, so what’s really left to say? If you’re a huge fan, and are interested in seeing just how crappy this movie is, then by all means, check it out. Otherwise, stay away. The evils in this movie should never be found, so leave it be, and move on; two hours of your life will be spared in the process.
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