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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Blu-ray presentation for Friedkin's theological thriller
The Exorcist BD
Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb
Director: William Friedkin
Warner Brothers | 1973 | 132m and 122m | Rated R |

Video
VC-1 | 1080p | 1.78:1

Audio
English DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish: Dolby...
Published on Jan. 10 2011 by Steven Aldersley

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Demon get out please
This movie is a classic, we can't discuss that but the package of this set is hard to get in collector shape. The edges are always scratched and bent. Book inside is fragile and pages will come off easily, be aware !
Published 21 months ago by Maghella


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Blu-ray presentation for Friedkin's theological thriller, Jan. 10 2011
By 
Steven Aldersley (Oshawa, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
The Exorcist BD
Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb
Director: William Friedkin
Warner Brothers | 1973 | 132m and 122m | Rated R |

Video
VC-1 | 1080p | 1.78:1

Audio
English DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles
English SDH, Arabic, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German SDH, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian SDH, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish

Discs
Two 50GB Blu-ray Discs
Digibook

The Exorcist's iconic cover claims that it's the scariest film of all time, but the makers of the movie prefer to label it as a theological thriller. I tend to agree and have always considered The Silence of the Lambs, The Shining and Psycho as psychological thrillers rather than horror. I mention those three because they represent the best that 'horror' has to offer, whether you label them as such or not.

If you have read my other reviews, you'll know by now that I'm a movie snob. When I think of horror films, the first thing that comes to mind is excessive gore and cheesy lines. I'm simply not a fan of seeing bodies hacked to pieces and I don't find any value in cheesy horror stories. So bear that in mind if you are a fan of such movies as the Evil Dead (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Instead, I look at how films are made, what they make me feel, the quality of the acting and the methods used by the director. In those terms, The Exorcist deserves to be rated among the best 'horror' films ever made.

The film plays like a book with the three main sets of characters being shown individually before the threads are drawn together for the body of the story. The story begins with Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) heading an archeological expedition in Iraq. Father Karras (Jason Miller) is shown caring for his dying mother and we are shown how he lives. Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) is shown being a mother to Regan (Linda Blair).

Regan is a pretty, playful 12-year-old girl without a care in the world. We see her demeanor gradually change as she's possessed by a demon. She seeks out her mother's bed because her own is shaking, but her mother thinks she's lying. There are noises in the attic which are thought to be rats as Chris tries to label them as something familiar. Regan's sweet nature gradually erodes and we see her lose her temper more and more frequently. She's eventually referred to doctors and shouts obscenities at them. Some of the tests she has to undergo would be frightening to a child, but everything comes back negative. A psychiatrist gets a turn and also fails to solve the problem. Denial is a powerful thing in this story as doctors continually try to rationalize the things they are seeing and hearing.

Chris is an atheist, but can see that the doctors are wrong. She eventually seeks out help from Father Karras, showing just how desperate she is to help her daughter. If you allow yourself to be drawn in to the story and consider how you would react if your own child underwent such changes, you'll feel the power of this film.

The climax of the film sees Father Karras and Father Merrin performing an exorcism after convincing the church that it was needed. Regan's transformation is impressive. When possessed, she talks in many different voices, some of which are known to the priests and the people around her. The demon is a master liar and seeks to confuse the priests and prevent the exorcism. Regan becomes a monster, reeling off obscenities and spewing foul green bile. Her face and body become covered in scars and it's hard to see anything of the original person.

In 1973, it was a real challenge to produce some of the effects seen in the film. Instead of CGI, everything had to be done by other means. Wires were used in two or three of the scenes were Regan levitates or runs down the stairs upside down. A model was made to enable the illusion that her head turns 360 degrees. The bile had to be made and then delivered using tubes. Although it's obvious that the spinning head is a model, it's still unsettling to see it happen.

Will you be scared by this movie? Visually, it's nothing compared to effects achieved by modern techniques. You might be scared if the story captures you sufficiently to make you feel that you're a part of it. Imagine yourself as Regan's parent for example. We can overlook the dated effects and take them seriously because everything else about this film is deadly serious. The acting is strong throughout, with the whole cast performing well. Friedkin tells the story simply, but effectively. The final solution is extreme, but convincing.

Like Psycho, this film was original and startling in its day. It has an important place in film history. It might not have a strong impact on people who are used to modern horror movies, but it's worth seeing for anyone who has avoided it thus far.

Video Quality 4/5:

This package includes two discs. One shows the original theatrical version (122m) and the other shows the extended version (132m). My comments refer to the extended version, although I would expect the quality to be identical in both versions.

The scenes in Iraq are bright and full of detail and the film would earn a 4.5 for picture quality if it were that good throughout. Unfortunately, much of the film is shot in dimly lit rooms and grain is dense in such scenes. All things considered, it's hard to imagine the image looking any better than it does though.

Audio Quality 4.5/5:

Friedkin mentions that the lossless audio enables him to hear effects that he had forgotten were in the film. It's certainly a strong presentation and the film benefits most of all from the audio upgrade. We can clearly hear Regan wheezing and the voices in outdoor scenes come across well in the rear speakers. Dialogue is always easy to understand and some of the louder scenes, such as furniture moving or glass breaking, carry added weight. The 6.1 version is included in the extended cut, while the original version has 5.1 audio.

Special Features 4.5/5:

There's plenty of background information included in the special features for anyone who is interested.

Director's commentary
Raising Hell: Filming the Exorcist (30m, HD)
The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now (9m, HD)
Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of the Exorcist (10m, HD)
Trailers, TV Spots and Radio Spots
Director's Introduction (2m, SD)
The Fear of God (77m, SD)
Filmmaker Interviews (9m, SD)
Sketches and Storyboards (3m, SD)
Original Ending (2m, SD)
40-page booklet with pictures, cast details and background information

The Exorcist is an important part of cinematic history. Nominated for 10 Oscars, it won two, and that's unusual for this genre. It's a beautifully presented package complete with a high quality booklet and separate discs for each version of the film. The audio upgrade is huge, making the experience a lot more intense. The visual upgrade is probably the best that could have been managed considering the dark setting and the director's original intentions. I would strongly recommend this definitive version for any fan of the film or of cinema in general.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Horror, Feb. 9 2014
It was December 26, 1973 and I was 10 years old and an avid reader of Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine. I had heard that a very horrific movie was coming to my neighbourhood theatre and knowing that I would not be allowed into a restricted film I decided to sneak in. In the darkness of the theatre, I heard scraping sounds from an attic, watched as wide open windows rushed in cold air, saw the lights in a corridor flicker off and on and heard the convulsing and growling of a demon as it took over the body of a little girl about the same age as myself. This film was The Exorcist. It is now 40 years later and the scariest film ever made still gives me the same shivers it gave me years ago. Branded as satanic by the evangelist Billy Graham and banned for years in the United Kingdom, it was and is to this day the most shocking and obscene film ever made. So shocking that audiences walked out before the film ended, vomited in the aisles and fainted on the spot from fear and terror. The Exorcist is not only the scariest film ever made because it scares you but it will also make you question your own faith and spiritual beliefs and make you think more about the battle between good and evil. Somehow, I would like to think that the real premise of the film is that good does triumph over evil in the end but the film is so visceral, so powerful in its scope that the real premise should be left to the individual film viewer to interpret for themselves. Whatever your interpretation, there is no doubt that The Exorcist will make you confront your fears: its the kind of film that not only sends shivers down your spine but the kind of film that really gets under your skin. Like the possessed Regan played brillantly by Linda Blair, your head might spin around 360 degrees and you might say to yourself in an evil nightmarish voice: Little children shouldnt be sneaking into darkened movie theatres to watch these type of movies! As a kid growing up around horrible things, I am glad I did sneak into the movie theatre that day for it is not just about confronting the horrors around us like terrorism, war, disease and hunger but also confronting the real horror that is possible like the evil that can take possession of us at any time. That is the real horror we should be scared of. And even though we should be scared of the evil that lurks inside us and the possibility of eternal damnation: real, imagined or otherwise, like Faust we still have the freedom to choose between good and evil and exorcise our own demons by striving for the truth. Even if we have to sneak into darkened movie theatres to do so.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME MOVIE, April 15 2014
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DELEVERY WAS QUICK AND THE MOVIE ITSELF IS A MASTER PIECE OF GREAT PERFORMANCE FROM THE LINDA BLAIR AND THE REST OF THE CREW
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE EXORCIST Steelbook Director's Extended Cut, Dec 12 2013
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This Limited Edition Collector's Steelbook of The Exorcist is a must have.
The artwork is very nice and well presented...The film it's self is a cult classic!
For the very best service, always buy from AMAZON first.

Very Happy UK Buyer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Scary Movie Ever Made, Nov. 23 2013
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This new extended cut was great, the sound was crisp and the old effects were great for every one at home screeeeam!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Super Film, Oct. 24 2013
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Ganz tolles Steelbook, spitzen Film. Und das Beste: mit deutscher Tonspur. Bin sehr zufrieden. Also von mir eine klare Kaufempfehlung.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE SCARIEST MOVIE EVER MADE!, Sept. 3 2013
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This review is from: The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen (DVD)
I have never forgotten how this movie affected me when I first watched it soooooo long ago! They've tried to make a scarier movie but....no cigar!
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5.0 out of 5 stars SCARY SCARY, Aug. 24 2013
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PACKAGE ARRIVED IN GOOD CONDITION I ORDERED AS HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS ITEM FOR SALE IN GREAT BRITAIN HAVING SEEN THE FILM MANY YEARS AGO IN THE CINEMA I AM SURE THIS EDITION WILL HAVE THE SAME IMPACT
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5.0 out of 5 stars "What an excellent day for an exorcism.", June 5 2013
By 
Leah-S - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
I saw this movie at a young age & was immediately intrigued, I began doing all sorts of research about exorcisms. I've seen the entire Exorcist series & in my opinion, the first one is the best.

The BluRay Disc: It's fantastic that they finally released both versions of the movie on BluRay all in one package, I'm even happier that I waited to buy it so I was able to get this edition. The quality is great, the sound, the picture, everything is awesome. Any true fan of "The Exorcist" should have this in their collection.

Special Features: They're really good, this is one of the few movies that I've actually watched features for. I loved seeing the Behind the Scenes footage with Linda Blair, also, the interviews with the cast, director & writer are very well done.

Overall: I'm so glad they finally put everything altogether in one great collectors edition! The package is great, the quality is awesome. I found the cheapest price to be on Amazon, I had done some research before buying it, I'm grateful I bought it right away because the price has skyrocketed! If I remember correctly, I paid $15 for this BluRay Special Edition & now it's $60 some places I've seen - yikes!
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5.0 out of 5 stars great!, April 1 2013
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Shaun Small (Mississauga, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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It arrived right on time and the quality of the blu ray was amazing! I am very happy with my purchase.
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The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen by William Friedkin (DVD - 2000)
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