Editor’s Note: Possible spoilers ahead
Welcome to the inaugural issue of “The Unreliable Narrators Watch…” with your hosts, the Unreliable Narrators. This week, we’re settling in with William Friedkin’s gory, unsettling classic, The Exorcist.
To begin, as they say, at the end, we’ll start with our final impressions of the film. Those of you interested in our thoughts about the rest of the movie will find the (nearly complete) transcript of our Slack discussion after the jump.
and introducing: Morris
george_galuschak 10:14 PM i think it’s an effective movie
chris 10:15 PM full props, though, it still is disturbing. even if it doesn’t make much sense
george_galuschak 10:15 PM well, it depends on whether you want everything explained
cathschaffstump 10:15 PM I don’t think that’s it at all.
george_galuschak 10:16 PM for me, the plot holds together. this isn’t linear storytelling
((Editor’s Note: George is wrong. It is linear storytelling))
((Second Editor’s Note: George wrote the previous Editor’s Note. Chia isn’t convinced that George is wrong.))
chris 10:16 PM well, I think it was deliberately structured with all the red herrings
cathschaffstump 10:16 PM I think that it has a lot of characters that don’t need to be there, and a lot of connections that aren’t made because the author edited the original story, but perhaps not in an effective way.
cathschaffstump 10:16 PM I don’t want everything explained. I am down with ambiguity.
chris 10:16 PM yeah the inspector added nothing, other than make us wonder about his behavior
chialynn 10:17 PM I can’t be sure how many of those connections I would have made if I hadn’t read the book (even if I don’t remember much of it).
cathschaffstump 10:17 PM But I do like knowing where the arcs are.
george_galuschak 10:17 PM not sure if this is the theatrical cut
chris 10:17 PM yeah I wonder if the director’s cut clears things up, or is just grosser
chialynn 10:17 PM It’s about an extra 10 or 20 minutes?
chris 10:17 PM I remember the crab walking so I must have seen it at some point
cathschaffstump 10:17 PM That was missing, wasn’t it? I remember that too.
george_galuschak 10:17 PM they cut lots of stuff from the book
cathschaffstump 10:18 PM So, in many cases, the book is better than the movie. Kind of a conventional wisdom.
chris 10:18 PM I think maybe people who have read the book are happier with the movie because they can fill in the gaps?
george_galuschak 10:19 PM most of the movie’s shitty dialogue is from the book, so not really to the book being better, yes to filling in the gaps
chialynn 10:19 PM I like the cuts from what’s happening with Regan and her mom to what’s happening with the priest and his mom.
chris 10:19 PM I wonder why they cut that out
cathschaffstump 10:19 PM That is a nice parallelism.
chris 10:20 PM Exorcist is good, and holds up well after all this time. It could just make more sense, I think
chialynn 10:21 PM Excellent performances.
george_galuschak 10:21 PM effective at what it does
cathschaffstump 10:21 PM I’m gonna give it horror movie props. Good special effects, some good acting, Karras for the win.