Critic Mark Kermode's study of William Friedkin's cult horror The Exorcist in the BFI Film Classics series
Inspired by an alleged real case of demonic possession in 1949, The Exorcist became an international phenomenon on its release in 1973. A blockbusting adaptation of a bestselling novel, it was praised as ‘deeply spiritual’ by some sections of the Catholic Church while being picketed by the Festival of Light and branded ‘Satanic’ by the evangelist Billy Graham. Banned on video in the UK for nearly fifteen years, the film still retains an extraordinary power to shock and startle.
Mark Kermode’s compelling study of this horror classic was originally published in 1997, and then extensively updated and expanded in 2003 to incorporate the discovery of new material. This revised edition documents the deletion and reinstatement of key scenes that have now been integrated into the film to create The Exorcist: The Version You’ve Never Seen. Candid interviews with director William Friedkin and writer/producer William Peter Blatty reveal the behind the-scenes battles which took place during the production. In addition, exclusive stills reveal the truth about the legendary ‘subliminal images’ allegedly lurking within the celluloid.