Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Exorcist: The Beginning

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Wow. This truly is the worst movie I've seen in a really long time--it actually gives Van Helsing a run for its money, and we all know how much I loved that movie. If you dig movies in which the holocaust is exploited, numerous children are tortured in various ways, and every tired trick in the horror movie book is used, then this is the movie for you!

Plotline: This is the prequel to the fantastic and classic The Exorcist. Long before having to drive the demon from Regan, Father Merrin finds himself uncovering an old church in East Africa and battling the same bastard demon within its confines. We also finally come to see the wavering faith that drives Merrin in the HUNDRED TIMES BETTER movie afterwards.

Scariness factor: Oh my god. Lemme just tell you: you could watch the original Exorcist over and over every day for a full year, know the whole damn movie inside and out, upside and down, know every thing that's coming and it'd STILL be about a thousand times scarier than this piece of crap.

Originality: *Hork* Where to even start? Lemme just say, this movie pulls the same tired moves as every other really bad horror movie out there. And dammit, it's not allowed, because it's a movie about EXORCISM, not bad guys in crazy masks chasing big-boobed co-eds around campus! I mean, there's a fricking SHOWER scene in this movie where you get to see a bit of side-boob. AND IT'S COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY BECAUSE IT DOES NOTHING FOR THE FRICKING STORY! I'd be able to justify this gratuitous side-boobishness if this were some sorta not-so-serious slasher film, but this stupid movie is so smitten with itself and takes itself so seriously that it honestly believes that there was some sorta need for such a scene. Also, apparently the devil has nothing better to do than tease people like we used to when we were little--by turning the lights off on them so they're forced to roam around blindly in the dark and then *WHAM* turning them back on! *Wetting myself with memories of such past horrors* I mean, doesn't anybody else think that if they were all powerful and shit, they might make better use of their time, say, torturing people or something? And every twist can be seen from a mile away in this movie. Every fricking twist, lemme tell you. Unless you are blind and deaf and mute. And it is chock full of such original lines as "Evil's inside each of us." And finally, this movie (which is set in East Africa) feels about as authentic in scenery and native-culture as, say, Brendan Fraser and The Mummy. And the CGI scenes are ten times worse--but we'll get to that soon enough. Oh, and *SPOILER ALERT in the closing scene, in which we're supposed to see Father Merrin finding his way back to the religion after passing through a spiritual wasteland, we're given the following stunning dialogue: Random dude: "Goodbye, Mr. Merrin." Merrin: "It's Father Merrin."
Please, make it stop.

  • The fricking computer animation. I mean, wtf, people? The dudes who did the computer animation in this movie CAN'T EVEN MAKE A DOZEN FLIES FLITTING ABOUT A BLOOD-CRUSTED ROOM look real. (And I'll just pretend not to even consider why they felt it necessary to computer animate flies instead of just bringing in a dozen REAL flies for the scene because I can already feel my blood pressure rising.) And yet they thought it smart to computer animate multiple fly-scenes which are just the pits. *AND* *SPOILER ALERT a hyena scene where multiple hyenas tear a small child apart while looking completely and ridiculously computer animated /END SPOILER. Look, Mommy, Buzz Lightyear is eating up a child! *AND* a blue-screened or computer animated or some such schlocky scene of the demon host running down a tunnel like some undead thing from Army of Darkness.

  • Don't make a movie with holocaust scenes in it unless you're sure it's gonna be a good movie, for christ's sake. I mean, it's difficult enough to make a serious movie about the Holocaust and do a good job and not seem shlocky. So why anyone doing a really fricking bad B-movie would touch the topic with a 100-foot pole is beyond me. But they did. And it's bad. So bad. They should be ashamed for exploiting this topic for such a bad bad bad movie. Ashamed.

  • Why is it that in horror movies, everyone always does activities that necessitate haste as SLOWLY AS FRICKING POSSIBLE?? "We must kill possessed boy before he destroys our tribe with his curse! Well then I shall stand here with this knife hovering over him, lowering it at a fraction of a centimeter every minute that passes, despite the fact that windows have begun shattering, the bed and the boy are shaking like an earthquake, amd my buddies' bones are all being snapped in two like twigs. And of course, the knife will be knocked out of my hand before it ever so slowly plunges into his chest. Yes yes." Lemme just warn all you folks: if I ever find myself trapped with any of you in a horror-movie like situation, you're all goners. All you have to do is hiccup or pass gas or something, and that's it--I'm assuming you're possessed and lopping of your head with whatever sharp item is nearby. None of this retarded 3-hour bumbling. No fricking way.

  • Children are tortured and killed left and right in this movie. I mean, four children meet horrible horrible deaths. And multiple others are tortured. I don't know if this was supposed to capture the horror of what the devil will do, but it didn't. It just seemed gratuitous and just in bad taste.

  • High Points: The scene in which the demon-host spiderwalks along the interior walls of the cave was ALMOST creepy. Until I realized I was just fricking desperate at this point and had the Stay Puff marshmallow man tap-danced across the cave walls, I probably woulda been just as impressed.

    Overall: This is, hands-down, one of the worst most lame most terrible most ridiculous most unscary pieces of crap I've seen in a really really really long time. Avoid at all costs.

    Grade: F



    At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Has Renny Harlin ever made a good movie? I mean, Long Kiss Goodnight was watchable, but then there was the abominable Cutthroat Island.

    Maybe Paul Schrader's Dominion, the Prequel to the Exorcist is better. It is supposedly a better movie, but softer and less of a horror movie than the Harlin prequel. It also stars Stellen Starsgard (sp?) as Father Merrin.

    At 10:45 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

    Yea, Lauren, the Paul Schrader version is the one I was talking earlier, that's supposed to be better.

    It's a shame that such a great movie got such a crappy prequel though.


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