While discussing the scariest movie of all time, there are of course bound to be multiple opinions with 'The Shining', 'Jaws' and 'Alien' topping some people's list. There is however one film that many people are actually scared to even view. Some say with enough evidence that the film and its set itself were cursed. One movie that is bound to send chills down the spine of even the bravest is - 'The Exorcist'.
Considered by many experts to be the scariest movie ever made, 'The Exorcist' offers an almost first-hand experience about demonic possession and exorcism. The film is based on the novel of the same name, written by William Peter Blatty. The film has 4 principal charters, namely, Father Merrin a member of the clergy and an archaeologist who has specialized knowledge about the demon (Pazuzu), Father Damien Karras, a priest and a psychiatrist, Regan MacNeil, a young 12-year-old girl who has been possessed by a demon and Pazuzu, the demon possessing young Regan.
The film begins with the tale of Father Merrin and his archaeological research of Pazuzu, in Iraq where he finds a grimacing statue of the demigod. Back in the Washington D.C., Father Damien Karras has started to lose hope and faith as a result of his mother's terminal illness. At the same time in Georgetown, Washington, Regan MacNeil, the 12-year-old young daughter of Chris MacNeil, a famous actress starts acting in a weird manner.
The initial behavior which is marked as a strange one, makes Chris jump to the conclusion that Regan is suffering from the trauma of her recent divorce. Initial treatments and examinations by the doctors are futile and with passing time Regan becomes more and more frightful. She assaults her psychiatrist and begins taking in a muscular voice, often depicting the existence of a dual personality. Things get out of hand when Regan starts cursing and depicts some supernatural powers such as levitation and infinite strength. The household often suffers from noises, shaking furniture and supernatural movements.
Regan has seizures which alarm Chris beyond measure. Chris's film director is found brutally murdered when he babysits Regan. Chris turns to exorcism when Regan claims that she has been possessed by Satan and calls in Father Karras. Father Merrin comes back to Washington to assist Karras. During the exorcism ritual, Father Merrin suffers from a heart attack and dies. Karras desperately tries to revive Merrin but it is of no use. Finally Karras seizes Regan/ Pazuzu by the throat and dares him to possess him and leave Regan. When the demon willingly does so, Karras commits suicide by throwing himself out of the window and onto a killing set of steps, thereby ending the demons reign of terror.
Why is Exorcist, the Scariest Movie of All Time?
Very, very realistic visualization of the process of demonic possession is the key that made the movie a success. The simple yet very creative make up of Regan in the form of a demon is one of the main reasons that has made the movie a really, really scary one. Apart from the make up, scenes such the spider walk scene, and one where the possessed demon taunts the priest Karras, the movie actually takes us to a reality where we come face to face with evil demons.
Of all the scary movies, The Exorcist is termed to be the scariest of all because it was a trend starter and was also based upon the real life exorcism of a certain boy Robbie (name never disclosed by the Church) who was cured by Father William S. Bowdern. If you are not-so-strong-hearted or underage, let me suggest you to view some other horror movie. It must be noted that The Exorcist is always in the top 3 of any scary movie list or poll.