EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING
There’s Victory in the Lord
Release Date: August 20, 2004
Genre: Supernatural Horror
Runtime: 113 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Director: Renny Harlin PRODUCER: James G. Robinson
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
GENRE: Supernatural Horror
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.
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.