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THE EXORCISM

What You Need To Know:

THE EXORCISM stars Russell Crowe as Tony, a widowed middle-aged actor recovering from substance abuse problems. Tony’s hired to replace the dead actor who was playing the main priest in an exorcism movie. However, Tony begins to exhibit troubled behavior, acting strangely and sleepwalking. His teenage daughter wonders whether her father is relapsing or something sinister or even demonic is happening. The movie shows viewers that it’s demonic, but the characters are unsure.

THE EXORCISM features a solid cast of veterans and talented newcomers. They deliver some scares and interesting conflict. THE EXORCISM has a somewhat happy ending where Christian sacrifice and actions win the day. However, the movie has some confusing scenes. It also has a mixed theological view about how to overcome demonic activity. For example, the characters rely too much on angels and saints to overcome the demon rather than going directly to Jesus. THE EXORCISM is also rated R. It has many “f” words, several strong profanities, some extreme bloody violence, and a politically correct lesbian subplot involving the actor’s daughter. So, THE EXORCISM is unacceptable and excessive.

Content:

(PaPa, OO, CC, BB, FRFR, PCPC, HoHo, LLL, VVV, SS, AA, DD, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Mixed pagan worldview in a story about overcoming demonic activity with Christian sacrifice and actions eventually win the day, and circumstances enable a father to protect his daughter, but the characters rely too much on angels and saints to intercede for them rather than focusing mostly on Jesus and going to him (a Christian cross is used, however), and there’s a politically correct homosexual subplot where the teenage daughter kisses a female teenager and is upset that the principal at her Catholic boarding school fired the school’s lesbian counselor;

Foul Language:
About 49 obscenities (including about 41 “f” words), five profane references to Jesus, one GD profanity, and two light profanities;

Violence:
Some very strong (with blood) and strong scary violence includes demon is behind the death of a man whose left eye and face are unexpectedly pierced from flying mirror glass, demonically possessed man bangs his head against table and wall, teenage actress has makeup on her face showing red cuts and slashes, lights unexpectedly pop, invisible demon uses telekinetic power to move a Bible across a floor, daughter scares her sleepwalking father out of his trance, daughter walks downstairs in darkened hallway in apartment building to find her sleepwalking father in the darkness acting strangely in a spooky manner, man’s ears are assaulted by a loud screeching noise, and something invisible attacks his throat;

Sex:
Two teenage girls kiss several times while lying down on a made bed, and there’s a positive verbal reference to another lesbian relationship;

Nudity:
No nudity;

Alcohol Use:
Alcohol use and man is recovering from an alcohol and drug problem but begins using again while being possessed by a demon;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Smoking and two teenagers smoke marijuana in one scene, plus man is recovering from an alcohol and drug problem but begins using again while being possessed by a demon; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
A line of dialogue refers to an act of vandalism, which is rebuked in the line, and father-daughter are estranged but this is eventually overcome.

More Detail:

THE EXORCISM stars Russell Crowe as a middle-aged actor recovering from substance abuse problems who’s hired to replace the dead actor playing the main priest in an exorcism movie but begins to exhibit troubled behavior. This causes his teenage daughter to wonder whether he’s relapsing or something more sinister is happening. THE EXORCISM has a solid cast of veterans and talented newcomers, and a somewhat happy ending, but the movie has a mixed theological view of demonic activity and is rated R, with many “f” words, some extreme bloody violence and a politically correct lesbian subplot with the actor’s daughter.

The movie opens with an actor practicing his lines for the exorcism movie at night on the movie’s empty three-story set. The actor finishes his lines. An electrical box suddenly explodes, messing the dim lights. Then, the actor hears a screeching sound and someone talking. Then, something invisible starts attacking his throat.

The scene unexpectedly cuts away to Lee Miller, a 16-year-old girl arriving home at her widowed father, Tony’s, brownstone apartment in New York City. Tony wants to talk to her about her suspension from Catholic boarding school for an unknown infraction. However, Lee retires to her room.

The movie reveals that Tony is recovering from an alcohol and drug problem. He couldn’t handle the terminal cancer his wife, Lee’s mother, was suffering several years ago and abandoned them to the bottle and drugs. As Tony explains early in the movie to someone, he crawled into a bottle for two years and took two years crawling out of it. Now that he’s sober, Tony wants to restore his relationship with Lee, but she’s reluctant to trust him again.

Meanwhile, Tony auditions to replace the actor from the first scene, who apparently died. Tony doesn’t think the audition is going well, but the director tricks him into reciting the words from the Catholic mass when he served as a young altar boy. So, he hires Tony o play the middle-aged priest in the exorcism movie.

The first day of shooting goes well. Tony has Lee work on the movie as a production assistant, and Lee befriends the teenage actress, Becky, who’s playing the possessed daughter in the movie. However, Tony suffers a mysterious nosebleed and, later that night, Lee finds him sleepwalking in their apartment.

As the filming continues, more spooky incidents involving Tony happen, and his performance suffers. It becomes clear that something more sinister or even demonic is afoot.

THE EXORCISM has a solid cast of veterans and talented newcomers. It also has a somewhat happy ending where Christian sacrifice and actions win the day.

However, the movie has a jumbled, messy plotline where some scenes are confusing. It also has a mixed theological view of demonic activity and how to overcome it. For example, the lapsed Catholic actor, a former altar boy, calls on the Virgin Mary and a bunch of angels and saints to intercede for him and his daughter against the demon in the movie. Although he uses the Cross too, he should go directly to Jesus verbally too. Finally, THE EXORCISM is rated R, with many “f” words, some strong profanities, some extreme bloody violence and a politically correct lesbian subplot with the actor’s daughter. One scene has the 16-year-old daughter kissing a female teenage actress. In another scene, she tells the actress she got in trouble at her Catholic boarding school because she dumped a can of red paint on the principal’s fancy car because he fired her favorite counselor for having a private lesbian relationship. The actress correctly says that’s not a protest, that’s vandalism. However, the movie’s sentiment is clearly in favor of homosexual sin and against the Roman Catholic and Protestant, biblical position.

So, MOVIEGUIDE® ranks THE EXORCISM as unacceptable and excessive. The movie’s excessive foul language is a big problem that goes along with its antinomian position on sexual sin.


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