EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING

There’s Victory in the Lord

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: August 20, 2004

Starring: Stellan Skarsgård, Izabella Scorupco, James D’arcy, and Remy Sweeney

Genre: Supernatural Horror

Audience: Adults

Rating: R

Runtime: 113 minutes

Address Comments To:

Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Alan Horn, President/COO
Warner Bros., Inc.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
Website: www2.warnerbros.com/main/homepage/homepage.html

Content:

(CCC, FR, O, Pa, LL, VVV, SS, N, AA, D, M) Very strong Christian worldview where the Cross and prayer to God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit defeat demonic evil, with some false religious content and aberrant theological views wherein Satan is more powerful than he really is and that suggest demons can possess Christian believers and make them do evil things against their will as well as occult elements whereby Christianity defeats occult possession and natives try to use occult witchcraft against Satanic forces but fail, and reference to pagan sacrifices where demonic activity supposedly occurs; 12 obscenities, two strong profanities, two light profanities, and images of maggots and skin sores; extreme violence with much blood includes images of corpses and crucifixions, decapitated head, German soldier shoots child, man shoots himself in mouth, bloody birth of baby covered with maggots, room full of flies with maggots, bloody head wounds, British soldiers fight African tribal soldiers, soldier killed with axe to the head, officer shoots man in forehead, woman bleeds excessively, possessed person fights priests, man slits his throat after carving bloody swastika in his chest, and CGI jackals brutally attack child and drag him away; several strong, crude sexual references in demonic dialogue with priest, nasty man makes a couple crude sexual advances ; upper male nudity, female cleavage, and obscured side view of woman’s breast as she enters shower; alcohol use and drunkenness; smoking; and, miscellaneous immorality and worldview problems such as doubts about God and German soldier forces priest to choose murder victims in order to save women and children.

GENRE: Supernatural Horror

Summary:

EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING is a prequel to the original movie that tells how Father Lankester Merrin re-discovers his Christian faith when he encounters madness, death, and demonic possession in a small African village in Kenya, which may be the site where Lucifer fell when God cast him out of Heaven. The worldview in EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING is the most Christian of all four EXORCIST movies made so far and clearly shows Jesus Christ eventually being victorious, but it contains excessively graphic violence, gore, and crude sexual references.

Review:

The worldview in EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING is the most Christian of all four EXORCIST movies so far, but the movie still contains excessive violence, gore, and crude sexual references. The movie also makes Satan a bit too powerful and contains an aberrant view of demonic possession.

The new movie is a prequel to the original. It tells how Father Lankester Merrin, who died in the first movie, began his career as an exorcist for the Roman Catholic church.

The movie locates the young Merrin in 1949 Cairo. His experiences in Holland with the German National Socialists in World War II have destroyed his faith in God and he now works as an archeologist. A man hires Merrin to investigate a fifth century church near an African village in Kenya, a mysterious historical anomaly that poses lots of questions to the experts in the movie. The man wants Merrin to find an ancient pagan relic near the church before the British authorities do.

Eventually, a young priest tells Merrin that the church may have been built over the site where Lucifer fell when God cast him out of Heaven. Merrin is skeptical, but madness, death, and demonic possession seem to engulf the village and the Christian hospital mission nearby.

Beneath the old church, in the place where Evil on Earth was born, Merrin finally sees the face of Satan.

The good news in EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING is that Merrin re-discovers his faith in God. Also, the movie clearly shows that the Cross of Christ and prayer to God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit will defeat demonic evil, but not without a cost.

The bad news is that, like most of the other EXORCIST movies, THE BEGINNING contains excessively graphic violence, gore, and several extremely crude sexual references (see our CONTENT section above). By including such things, the movie may attract a crowd at the box office, but it won’t be as large as the audience that was scared witless by the sensational content in the very first movie. Some will find this well-produced movie scary and disturbing, but others won’t be able to take it seriously.

As with other supernatural horror movies, THE BEGINNING suggests that Satan is more powerful than he actually is. It also projects the false religious notion that demons can possess Christian believers and make them do evil things against their will. The Bible, which is our ultimate authority on such matters, does not teach these aberrant ideas. Like the Bible, however, the movie tells viewers that there’s victory in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Brief:

EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING is a prequel to the original movie. It tells how Father Lankester Merrin re-discovers his Christian faith while investigating a fifth century church near an African village in Kenya, an historical anomaly. Merrin discovers the church may have been built over the site where Lucifer fell when God cast him out of Heaven. Merrin is skeptical, but madness, death, and demonic possession seem to engulf the area. Beneath the old church, where Evil on Earth was born, Merrin will finally see the face of Satan.

The worldview in EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING is the most Christian of all four EXORCIST movies so far. The good news is that Merrin re-discovers his faith in God. This scary, well-produced movie also clearly shows that the Cross of Christ and prayer to God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit eventually will defeat demonic evil. The bad news is that, like most of the EXORCIST movies, THE BEGINNING contains excessively graphic and disturbing violence, gore, and crude sexual references. It also wrongly suggests that Satan is more powerful than he actually is and that demons can possess Christian believers and make them do evil things against their will.