The Exorcist

IntroTransformations

There’s really no such thing as pleasant renewal when it comes to metamorphosis in a horror movie – only flesh falling off to expose whatever nightmare lurks beneath. It’s not unlike puberty, actually. Since we’re almost hitting the dark lord’s birthday, I thought we could celebrate by remembering some of the most nauseating horror movie transformations ever mashed onto the screen…

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TheExorcist

Undoubtedly inspired by the success of horror-film-to-serial-dramas Hannibal and Bates Motel, Morgan Creek Entertainment and producer Roy Lee (The Ring, The Grudge) are shopping around a television version of The Exorcist to the major networks. Last year, the team announced that the project was to be a 10-hour miniseries directed by Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) that functioned as both a prequel and remake of the 1973 film, but it seems that this plan has been scrapped altogether – The Playlist reports that Durkin is no longer involved, and they’ve brought in writer Jeremy Slater (the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot) to pen what is now going to be a weekly drama series based on the novel by William Peter Blatty. The story, for foggy minds, follows the harrowing demonic possession of a young girl and the efforts by her mother, doctors and priests to save her from the entity. The 1973 film was so considered so graphic and terrifying that people vomited in theaters. This is what Slater has to live up to.

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Exorcist Sitcom

A while back, there was a burst of videos which recast wholesome, loveable characters as horror icons. It was all launched by the absolutely brilliant Scary Mary Poppins which probably worked because there’s something fundamentally terrifying about the movie that’s lacquered over by a silly, musical tone. After all, Mary isn’t all sunshine and puppy dog ice cream. She’s sarcastic and forceful (and she has a handbag full of umbrellas, lamps and all of the props from Hostel). In that same spirit, born from the ancient internet (six whole years ago!), we’ve asked our resident video masher to do the opposite: take something horrific and make it funny. As usual, ChugsTheMonkey delivers. He’s chosen to remix The Exorcist (which coincidentally just made the Championship Round in our bracket tournament search for the Scariest Movie Ever) as a 1980s-style sitcom. After all, it’s basically like Small Wonder with a Satan-infused child instead of a robot to begin with. Who knew that all that was missing from William Friedkin‘s horror classic was a laugh track?

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The Scariest Movie Ever

It was a tough few days for movies about creatures from other worlds slashing their way through flimsy human flesh. Both Alien and The Thing lost handedly in the semi-final. That means we have the two movies you’ve chosen to fight to the death in the Championship Arena (which is currently being built in a part of the Australian outback that’s not being ravaged by a mutant pig). After a week of match-ups, you’ve chosen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Exorcist to vie for the title of Scariest Movie Ever. Not a bad pair, friends. It will be fascinating to see what goes through the minds of voters when choosing between these drastically different films. One is an aggressive, raw death-fest which is far less gory than people remember it being; the other is a more carefully constructed examination of a single powerful entity that involves vomit but not a lot of death. One hunts you down; the other invades your body and home. One has Leatherface; the other has Captain Howdy. So how do you even choose? What will go into your consideration? TIME TO VOTE FOR A CHAMPION

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The Scariest Movie Ever

And then there were four. After the tournament’s closest battle came to an end with a come-from-behind winner, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre eked its way into The Final Four alongside The Thing, Alien and The Exorcist. Essentially we’re down to the impossible choices, but while a horror movie tournament is one thing, figuring out with of these baddies would best each other in real life is a bit easier. Today’s match-up sees Ridley Scott‘s hallway of terror go up against the devil in Ms. Blair, but if the mutli-mouthed E.T.s actually had to fight off a demon, it seems obvious that evil would prevail (unless The Queen had the courage to jump out of an airlock after getting possessed). On the same front, a family of cannibals with their own meat locker is terrifying, but they’d be quick work for the body-stealing Thing, especially since Grandpa’s offspring don’t seem all that bright. How long would it take for one of them to hit themselves with a hammer in order to stop the invasion? Over/Under is twenty minutes. Speaking of which, someone should make a movie where horror icons fight each other. Especially if it involves Alien. How could that miss? And since both Freddy and Jason have been knocked out of the tournament, they’ll have plenty of time to collaborate on a project like that. VOTING FOR THE FINAL FOUR IS NOW OPEN

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The Scariest Movie Ever

After laughing about the completely unplanned, totally-done-by-your-votes match-up between The Ring and The Thing in the Axe-Wielding Eight Round, I’d like to talk about two types of movies that didn’t make the cut. There are. of course, the 24 movies so far that have been chopped off the block by you clicking a Facebook button, but there are also a bunch of movies that didn’t get placed on the original bracket to begin with. There are two reasons that your favorite scary movie didn’t make it. One, it’s a finite list (and a small one at that). Two, we aren’t mind readers. For the most part, our bracket was conventional in honoring the classics, but we also tried to spice things up by including newer films and even a few that maybe weren’t seen by wide audiences (Session 9, you will be missed…). Today’s post will seek to celebrate some of those movies you suggested we were morons for leaving out. We’ll also run down the numbers, laugh some more about the rhyming Ring/Thing battle, and get serious about the predictions. We’re down to 8 insanely strong horror flicks, so it’s even more important to get out the vote because the margins are going to be razor blade thin. Or you can vote first and then read all this

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Luis Bunuel once claimed that he kept rocks in his pockets during the first screening of Un Chien Andalou in case the crowd didn’t like what it saw. Whether or not that’s actually true, the audience reaction was never so bad that it came to violence. Apparently cutting open an eyeball wasn’t a real biggie in the 1920s. Of course, none of that changes how ridiculously hard that short film is to watch. It’s grotesque, nauseating, and a great starting point for decades of filmmakers continuing to make audiences freak the hell out. That grand tradition was continued with a second fainting at a screening of V/H/S and it’s a tradition we’d like to celebrate with 8 movies that caused some strong physical reactions.

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All throughout October, we’ll be hearing from horror filmmakers about their favorite scary movies. First up is the legendary Joe Dante, whose new movie The Hole is available on DVD/Blu-ray and VOD. He’ll spread a little love to Val Lewton, talk about a movie with a very specific meaning to Catholics and explain how he makes horror work for ages 6 through 96. Download Episode #151

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With Jeremy out of commission this week (possibly a victim of an diabolical ancient demon, or perhaps on vacation), I’m jumping in to highlight the commentary track on one of my favorite films. For the most part nowadays, Hollywood stays out of religion. That is, of course, until it’s time to do a movie about demonic possession, and then the otherwise secular industry suddenly finds Jesus and starts spouting dogma like red-state Tea Party patriot at Chick-Fil-A. The gold standard of demonic possession movies is William Friedkin’s chilling masterpiece The Exorcist, which remains one of the scariest movies of all time. All demonic possession movies from 1973 on borrow (or outright steal) from it in some way. This weekend, moviegoers will face demons once again in the cinemas, though The Possession taps into an older religion with a Dybbuk box from the Jewish faith. Still, odds are there are at least a few elements that owe a debt to the Catholic overtones in The Exorcist.

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Jurassic Park Mosquito

Movie trailers are one of the few things in the industry that you really can’t improve upon with technology. It’s just editing – that’s it. Nothing else can make a trailer better besides skill. This is also why it seems like they generally get better every year (not always the case though). It’s difficult to nail down exactly what makes a teaser trailer effective, which is why we’re going to focus simply on intensity. It’s the best part, especially when a film is already anticipated from the start due to being an adaptation or a sequel. So here we go – fifteen movie teasers that have your heart pounding before the feature presentation even begins.

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Hannibal Lecter

According to Vulture, Martha Marcy May Marlene writer/director Sean Durkin is preparing to pitch a ten-episode television series concept of The Exorcist. It’s a promising idea from a strong, disturbing storyteller, so hopefully a solid network picks it up. The potential for trenchant drama aside, what’s fascinating is that this project paired with two possible Silence of the Lambs television shows marks a mini-trend in TV that sees the conversion of movies into the format. Of course, both franchises were born as books (from William Peter Blatty and Thomas Harris respectively), but they were made even more famous (if not downright iconic) by the films – especially because of performances from Max Von Sydow, Linda Blair, and Anthony Hopkins. So that’s two (count ‘em, two) shows based on Hannibal Lecter: Clarice over at Lifetime and Hannibal over at NBC. The first, clearly, focuses on Clarice Starling, and the second uses Will Graham as its FBI agent of choice. These are all in various stages of development, but it seems clear that some showrunners and channels are looking to horror movies for inspiration and content. The natural question? What horror movie icons would work best on TV?

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Jump Scare

If you’re anything like me you probably would take a good psychological scarring over some dick in a mask jumping out at you any day of the week – at least when it comes to horror films. Nowadays it seems like the best is behind us when it comes to the genre, and what’s left is less a collection of disturbing concepts and more so the movie equivalent of a carnival spook house. That being said – I do like carnival spook houses – a fleeting scare is good when it’s done right. Sure, in the end these scares don’t hold a candle to say, the end of Rosemary’s Baby, but we can’t deny them either. So that’s what this list is: me sucking it up and admitting that the dick in the mask totally got me. I should tell you that I don’t wish to demerit these films for having jump scares in them; most of them have plenty of psychological scarring as well… take number ten, for example.

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When I was talking with some friends a while back about how much my wife and I enjoyed Insidious (probably one of the first genuinely well-made horror films in ages), I started thinking about how they’re almost sure to greenlight a sequel any day now (still waiting on that) for some studio to run into the ground like James Wan and Leigh Whannel’s previous collaboration, the Saw series. Saw got dumber and shittier as it went on, probably due to the fact that by fourth film or so the plot was incomprehensibly stupid. What’s the point of all this again? And Jigsaw had how many apprentices now? By the end of the series, I was expecting him to have solved the financial crisis by employing the majority of Americans to set moronic traps for each other. But the thing that’s easy to forget is that the first Saw movie was actually a pretty damn good movie. It wasn’t unique by any means. It owes a lot to Dario Argento and his fellow Italian Giallo filmmakers, but that’s not the point. The point is, Wan and Whannel paid attention. They actually put forth an effort to make a film that wasn’t a remake or a sequel or a cheap knockoff. They showed their hand as far as influences go, but fuck, so does Quentin Tarantino. Hell, even Saw II and Saw III weren’t bad. So maybe that’s the secret to making a horror film that’s not ball-crushingly idiotic. Maybe it just […]

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The Library of Congress opens up its big mystical vault once a year to toss in 25 films that it deems worthy (by stirring old clapboards into a vat of rat blood and reading the star alignment). This year was a big year that honors some of the fallen members of the community – notably Leslie Nielsen, Blake Edwards and Irvin Kershner. Safely stowed away as important cultural documents, The Empire Strikes Back, Airplane!, and The Pink Panther join 23 other films that will be forever kept in the hearts of those who care to apply for a Library of Congress library card (a three-step process that includes a photo being taken). Check the entire list (which is littered with incredible movies) below:

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When the calendar page turns to October, we Rejects have only one thought: horror. To celebrate this grandest and darkest of months, we’ll cover one excellent horror film a day for the entirety of the month. That’s 31 Days of Horror and 31 Films perfect for viewing on a dark, chilly, October night. If you, like us, love horror and Halloween, give us a Hell Yeah and keep coming every day this month for a new dose of adrenaline. Synopsis: Evil children in horror movies hit a stride in 1973 with William Friedkin’s adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s book. Famous actress Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) is in the middle of shooting a movie, but her own twelve-year-old daughter Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) is having problems at home. It starts with weird noises in the attic and an imaginary Ouija board friend she calls Captain Howdy. However, it soon escalates, and after exhausting her medical options, Chris turns to the Catholic church. She convinces a local priest to perform an exorcism on her daughter, revealing the terrifying demon possessing her body.

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“I don’t understand the concept of bad masturbation,” is how Rob Hunter responded to me pitching this list, and he’s right. No one should understand that concept unless they have the tragic disease known as Sandpaper Hands. However, there is a certain challenge in filming someone masturbating that separates the men from the boys, and the women from the girls. Thus, while bad masturbation may be unfathomable, a bad masturbation scene is easy to imagine. “It is not enough to be abstinent with other people, you also have to be be abstinent alone. The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery, so you can’t masturbate without lust,” is how Senate-seat-seeker Christine O’Donnell responded to an interviewer discussing pro-abstinence groups and their mission not going far enough. These cultural phenomena are colliding in an explosive way. So, in honor of Ms. O’Donnell, we’d like to share the lust in our hearts and a few great masturbation scenes on film.

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This May, iconic director Stanley Kubrick steps outside his wheelhouse and into a haunted wheelhouse. But can the auteur tackle horror?

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movieswelove-thesting

Who doesn’t love a good con movie? Robert Redford and Paul Newman partner to make one of the best ever made – all while creating a movie that won Best Picture, can be re-watched infinitely and has popcorn appeal.

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Movie Characters that Need to Smoke Weed

In honor of no special holiday in particular, we take a look at a few film characters that need to dance with Mary Jane. I change my name to Dr. Roberts for the day in order to diagnose a few crazed characters and prescribe something good for what ails them.

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May Creeps Us Out

This weekend’s release of The Uninvited reminded us that men aren’t the only ones scaring us to death in thrillers and horror, so we decided to delve deeper into the history of the women that make our skin crawl.

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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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