I always tell the story about my mother showing ‘The Exorcist’ to my sister and I at a ridiculously young age, and while I have grown to appreciate the film, I won’t lie (and I may even make a few enemies) – it doesn’t make my list of favorite horror films.
Please, before you break out the pitchforks and brass knuckles, let me explain.
To this day, I struggle looking Regan MacNeil in the eyes during the film. I cannot stomach the crucifix violation scene- not for a religious reason, but just because it is so disturbing and just plain…wrong. I will give the film it’s dues- it is a massive achievement in the film industry as well as opening the mass population’s eyes to our beloved genre. Director William Friedkin himself has stated that ‘The Exorcist’ is not a horror film, but a “supernatural thriller”.
Really? OK, and I’m a “kind of big guy”.
Maybe that fact that even the film’s creators seem to stick their nose up to my beloved horror community gives me reason to not include it in my list of favorite horror flicks. But mostly, it’s not being able to watch a scene with a fully transformed Regan to this day without grimacing and wishing I was somewhere else, anywhere else.
It’s probably all thanks to my Ma screwing me up fundamentally at such a young age with those horrendous images of Regan’s dire need of a chiropractor, that terrifying demon face in the darkness, and those horrific eyes of Regan as she is in full-on demon mode. Oh, and let’s not forget the spider walk from the 25th anniversary DVD!
But again, with all due respect, ‘The Exorcist’ is an incredible film- take out the crucifix doodling and at least three close-ups of the masterful make-up done by make-up god Dick Smith, and I’d probably watch the film a little more often than I already do.
With all that being said, starting tonight and going for a week straight, I will review one film each night that defines my love for horror. These films shaped me as a fan of the macabre and kicked my hyperactive imagination into overdrive. The seven films come from all different times in my life and I have different people to thank for introducing me to the flicks, and while some will never make an official Top 10 Horror Movie list, they will forever hold a special place in my heart!
I’ll kick off the celebration with my all-time favorite movie, the first monster movie I ever had the privilege of seeing….