Zeitgeist: Sifting through The Exorcist’s enduring embers of evil

With William Friedkin’s horror classic getting a modern-day reboot, the original’s power to thrill and revulse remains undimmed after almost half a century

7th August, 2021
Zeitgeist: Sifting through The Exorcist’s enduring embers of evil
Linda Blair, Max von Sydow and Jason Miller in a famous scene from The Exorcist: the film signalled a move towards a more visceral and brutal style of cinema. Picture: Getty

A new era in film dawned on December 26, 1973. A 12-year-old girl was terrorising audiences throughout the world. Her name was Regan MacNeil. Tales of fainting, fits and vomiting in cinema aisles did little to deter the millions who queued day and night for their chance to see a film described as “thoroughly evil”, a film so dangerous that the Devil himself “lived in the very celluloid of each frame”.

No doubt...

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