Cait Hates Horror: The Exorcist (1971)


In the spirit of sharing things you should know (see: Murda Takes Action Part 1), I HATE horror movies. Why? Because I'm a Grade A Scaredy Cat. However, I do like reading horror movie plots. has been around since the 90's and was definitely built in Geocities. It boasts being The Most Fun You Can Have At The Movies Without Being There. Which is also a great way to describe most internet things. Chatrooms. The Most Fun You Can Have At Sex Without Being There. Comment threads. The Most Fun You Can Have At Being A Racist Without Being There. But I digress... 

I have been using The Movie Spoiler and it's expansive archive to avoid watching a single horror movie, while still pretending to know all the gorey details, but....


I've grown accustomed to terrifying things becoming reality, like varicose veins or attacks on my reproductive rights. When my imagination keeps me awake at night, as an adult lady I can shotgun two glasses of wine and sleep like a baby lady. Therefore, what could be so scary about horror movies compared to real life? I am documenting my journey into horror movie lore here in all it's no-don't-go-in-there, pillow-clutching, peeing-my-pants glory. 

First stop....

In case you didn't know, this movie is about the demon possession of a little girl. Through the process of exorcising her, the film references true questions of faith in her mother and a Catholic priest. For anyone who hasn't seen this (which apparently is no one but me), most of it takes place in the little girl's room, and mainly develops from the bizarre and terrible things she does while possessed. At least that's what my old friend TheMovieSpoiler says.

Plenty of people have told me that this is one of the best movies of all time. Eh, I think that is a stretch. The shots are cool. The performances are great. However, the script is very confusing and does not give enough information about what the hell is going on. (Using the term "hell" here is not a pun. My fear was often sequestered by moments of "STOP MUMBLING! WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?") But, here are a few things I picked up on that I would have missed if I never saw The Exorcist in all its vomit-y glory.

Things I've learned from this movie:

  • Priests can also be other things, like Archeologists and Psychiatrists. That's pretty useful. 
  • Vibrating beds are cool, but should stay on the floor. Otherwise totally a demon.
  • Demons like to swear. I like to swear. I don't think that's enough to classify something as evil.
  • When encountering a demon, stay away from stairs and windows.
  • Priests are not exempt from possession. No one is. Demons are equal opportunity.

Proposed Theories:
Why does this movie matter?

Becoming a teenager sucks.
Acne, bad hair days, mood swings, vomiting, and the urge to kill. I think the point of this movie might just be that puberty is really tough. Obviously, it's gone a different route than the classic high school nerd to hottie make-over, but it drills in that teenage girls are evil. Literally the devil.

Regan = Reagan
This movie definitely predicted the Reagan Administration, right? It predates Reagan as president by a decade, yet the similarities are screaming out at me! The daughter's name. The fact that she totally believes in "trickle down," as long as it involves putrid vomit, which is basically what the upper class allows to seep through the wealth gap. Everyone around her is like.. hey, why don't you stop being so crazy? And Regan is all NO WAY! I WILL HAUNT YOUR DREAMS VIA CONSERVATIVE RHETORIC FOR YEARS TO COME! I WILL LITERALLY SCREW OVER THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WITH EVANGELICAL VALUES, I.E. THIS CROSS, LOSERS! MONEY MONEY MONEY...  Ok, maybe I'm stretching this concept a little. Or am I?!

Fear Level:
Is this scary?

This movie is not that scary, y'all. The demon face prosthetics are icky, but don't incite much fear. Most of it is just gross and disturbing. There's a factor of extra grossness that it's based on a true story. If it is within your realm of dogma to believe that demon possession can happen... well, then you're probably already accustomed to the fear of hellfire, so this will be right up your alley. Otherwise, FEAR LEVEL 1. 

There Will Be Drinking