CORPORATE LINE: Father Lankester Merrin thinks that he has glimpsed the face of Evil. In the years following World War II, Merrin (STELLAN SKARSGÅRD) is relentlessly haunted by memories of the unspeakable brutality perpetrated against the innocent people of his parish. In the wake of all he has seen, both his faith in his fellow man and the Almighty have deserted him. He can no longer honestly call himself a man of God.
Merrin has traveled far from his native Holland in a desperate attempt to escape the horrors that he witnessed there. While drifting through Cairo, he is approached by a collector of rare antiquities to join a British archeological excavation in the remote Turkana region of Kenya. They have unearthed a Christian Byzantine church in inexplicably pristine condition – as if it had been buried on the day it was completed. The collector wants Merrin, an Oxford-educated archeologist, to find an ancient relic hidden within the church before the British discover it.
But beneath the church, something much older sleeps, waiting to be awoken. Madness descends upon the local villagers and the contingent of British soldiers sent to guard the excavation. Merrin watches helplessly as the atrocities of war are repeated against another innocent village – atrocities he had prayed never to see again. The blood of innocents flows freely on the East African plain, and the horror has only just begun.
In the place where Evil was born, Merrin will finally see its true face.
THE GOOD: The storyline is quite interesting and could have given this movie a chance. Too bad the suits at Warner Bros. decided to re-shoot most of the film.
THE BAD: The first Exorcist was perhaps the scariest movie of all time. The Beginning barely gave me chills. Honestly the final scene when Father Merrin confronts the Devil caused a few of us to laugh. It was hokey and nothing more than a rip-off of the original Exorcist. Can’t anyone come up with something new?
Also, isn’t it time the Devil wasn’t typecast? The most powerful evil demon has to come back over and over again in the exact same way in every Hollywood movie? Can’t anyone come up with a new idea?
FRANKLY: The Exorcist can be summed up in its bad effects in which you can see the green screen silhouette. Is this because Warner Bros. decided to replace director Paul Schrader with the hack director Renny Harlin? Certainly. The rumor is that the brilliant Schrader made a smart thriller instead of gory bloodbath thus replacing him with Harlin. Could Schrader’s film possible be as bad as this? I doubt it. Guess we know who got the last laugh.
+ Charlie Craine