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4.0 out of 5 stars The original and - to my mind - definitive version of the prequel
It's not often that you get the chance to watch two different versions of the same film, especially one associated with a landmark motion picture such as The Exorcist. I was a little more impressed than most with the theatrical release (Renny Harlin's version), Exorcist: The Beginning, but - once I learned of its existence - I yearned to see the first version of the...
Published on Aug. 25 2006 by Daniel Jolley

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars way to slow and boring in my opinion
sometimes you go into a film with very low expectations,and
occasionally you are pleasantly surprised.for me,Dominion:Prequel to
the Exorcist is not that movie.but,it was on cable,i had nothing better
to do,and i try(but admittedly,not always)to give every movie the
benefit of the doubt.but i could find very little good about this
film,other than...
Published on Nov. 2 2007 by falcon


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1.0 out of 5 stars way to slow and boring in my opinion, Nov. 2 2007
This review is from: Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist [Import] (DVD)
sometimes you go into a film with very low expectations,and
occasionally you are pleasantly surprised.for me,Dominion:Prequel to
the Exorcist is not that movie.but,it was on cable,i had nothing better
to do,and i try(but admittedly,not always)to give every movie the
benefit of the doubt.but i could find very little good about this
film,other than the end credits.Stellan Skarsgard is a very talented
actor,but i feel his talents are wasted on this movie.i also found the
movie to be disjointed and it had many scenes that don't seem to have
relevance.but then again,i didn't feel the movie had much relevance
either.it does at times become a bit preachy,which i found very
annoying.i thought the CGI was pretty bad in this movie,in fact some of
the worst i've ever seen.but i guess the thing that bothered me most
about this movie is the lack of tension,suspense or sense of danger i
felt while watching.this movie is just way to slow for me and doesn't
make a lot of sense.for me,a 0/5
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4.0 out of 5 stars The original and - to my mind - definitive version of the prequel, Aug. 25 2006
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist [Import] (DVD)
It's not often that you get the chance to watch two different versions of the same film, especially one associated with a landmark motion picture such as The Exorcist. I was a little more impressed than most with the theatrical release (Renny Harlin's version), Exorcist: The Beginning, but - once I learned of its existence - I yearned to see the first version of the prequel directed by Paul Schrader. At one point, there were rumors that both would be released together on DVD, but it turned out that we had to wait a little longer to see the prequel that the bobbing heads in Hollywood rejected. Apparently, they didn't think Schrader's film had a very strong horror aspect to it, and so it was that this original version of the prequel was buried while a new director came in and made a completely different movie using most but not all of the original actors. For the life of me, I can't figure out what the stuffed shirts in Hollywood were thinking, as I find Dominion to be clearly superior to Exorcist: The Beginning - even when it comes to the horror aspects.

Certainly, in terms of relating Father Merrin's story to the events chronicled in The Exorcist, Dominion is a much stronger film. Exorcist: The Prequel pretty much mucked up the whole Father Merrin story, in my opinion, particularly with his relationship with the female doctor at the camp site in East Africa. Dominion also deals much more forcibly with the guilt that drove Merrin away from the priesthood and all but destroyed his faith; in fact, that life-changing episode plays an integral part in the final showdown between priest and demon. And while we're talking about the demon, he's a much more forcible, impressive presence here than in the other prequel. As for the final confrontation, it may not have the supposed "scares" of Harlin's version, but it is a much more palpable, personal confrontation that frames the remainder of Father Merrin's life (culminating, of course, in The Exorcist).

The basic storyline is the same in both sequels, so Exorcist fans should definitely watch both films and make up their own minds as to which is better. I just think Dominion is a tighter, more substantial, better paced film than Exorcist: The Beginning. In Harlin's film, it seemed like we spent interminable hours pacing around in the dark shadows of the hospital. And it's not like Dominion doesn't have any frightening scenes to show you; the demon is much more impressive, the ritual murder inside the church is a clear win for Dominion, and even the human-inspired murders seem more visceral to my eyes. As far as I'm concerned, Paul Schrader's Dominion is the true prequel to The Exorcist.
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1.0 out of 5 stars One story, two versions, equally bad, June 21 2006
By 
Thomas G. Morrison (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist [Import] (DVD)
I can see why Warner Brothers rejected this turkey when they saw it, not that the version they did release as EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING was any better. What's hard to believe is that this is the work of Paul Schrader, the same man who wrote the screenplay for TAXI DRIVER and created the marvellous AFFLICTION. Here, his only directorial technique seems to consist of, for some reason, showing everybody's feet. The actors seem dazed, the demon boy is more irritating than scary, and even scenes involving Nazis and soul-shattering choices carry little impact. Established Hollywood directors seem to think they are on vacation when they do horror films, as if digging into the depths of people's psyches is easy work. William Friedkin did not take this approach with the original THE EXORCIST, and that is why his film is a masterpiece. Friedkin made a disturbing examination of the nature of evil which still has an impact today. Schrader's film, which does not even deserve to be mentioned along with the original, seems to say that the worst aspect of the Devil is that he does not feel Catholic guilt. Skip this one, and get the Friedkin original (and not the bloated and pompous William Peter Blatty "version you've never seen") if you can. The 1973 film still packs a punch in the jaded new millennium.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It Is What It Is, Dec 10 2012
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This review is from: Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist [Import] (DVD)
This movie is acceptable fare in the "exorcism genre." There are better; there are worse. It is comparable to the other version (with d'Arcy) in respect to general casting, storyline, pace, etc. - with one exception: The use of the "possessed child" in the other version adds a creepier dimension that is lost with the casting of the young man in this version. If your expectations are not too high, then this movie may work for you next Hallowe'en.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Goes hand-in-hand with Exorcist The Beginning, Nov. 2 2005
By 
Jeff (Ottawa, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist [Import] (DVD)
Intersting situation.... 2 movies get made, tell the same story!! The Exorcist prequel went through many, many changes: scripts, actors, directors, studios..all that. Dominoin is a different VERSION of Exorcist the Beginning. It is actually the better one: too bad this one got shelved and 'Beginning' didn't. But make sure you watch both to see the differences. An interesting perspective indeed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Don't get the other cut..., Jan. 27 2014
By 
Simon Bergeron - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist [Import] (DVD)
This cut was rejected by Warner who, for some reason, felt the movie lacked a lot of things. I don't know what things they were, but sure the movie is lacking in a few spots: the pace is quite slow, in fact sometimes we get to the bottom of things before the movie does, and some of the development in the narrative and the characters feel if a bit forced. Nonetheless, you couldn't do a better film than William Friedkin's The Exorcist, much less when it's about a third sequel (being a prequel). Stellan Skarsgaard is quite interesting playing a younger father Merrin, even if he hasn't got much to play with.

Special features are quite rare here, just as the other cut, but even shorter. A commentary track, a few deleted scenes and that's about it, but the commentary is a tall leap from the "Exorcist 4" one... this one felt a lot more honest and true.

Do yourselves a favor and forget Harlin's movie, unless you really want to, for the sake of comparison. This one is three times better.
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Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist [Import]
Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist [Import] by Stellan Skarsgård (DVD - 2005)
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