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The Exorcist - Why Is It SO Scary?

 
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Sep, 2007 10:20 am
"Silence of the Lambs" may have been the only horror film to win a Best Picture Oscar.

I remember in 1974 rooting for "The Exorcist" to win best picture. I am glad that Blatty won an Oscar as a writer. His novel was excellent reading and actually more compelling than the film version. The novel leaves open a possible neurological or psychological explanation. The film leaves only a supernatural explanation.
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lezzles
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Sep, 2007 06:54 pm
A digression from movies, but adding to your post wandeljw.

I was in Lagos many years ago, not long after the Biafran war, so it was not a particularly nice place to be. I had an accident in my home when I slipped on polished marble flooring, hit my head and shoulder on the door frame and ended up unconscious on the floor. Medical assistance was very dicey, if not downright lethal, so I decided to put up with the excruciating pain from my neck to my shoulder (turned out to be a broken collarbone) until I got to Nairobi the following week.

To cheer me up, a group of friends who had a boat, took me for a day long outing down the river to a beach on the coast. It was a lovely day. They settled me in a deck chair under an umbrella so I could get some rest. Trouble is I fell asleep and as the sun moved so did the shadow so that before long the umbrella was useless and I was slowly roasting. No one wanted to disturb me so they let me sleep. By nightfall I was a walking disaster.

I am very fair skinned, so I had really burned badly and this, together with my shoulder pain made it impossible to sleep that night. I had pillows propping me up, with fans set up on each side of the bed to create a cool air flow (Lagos is a damned hot, sticky place at the best of times.) With jugs of cool water for overnight drinks, I grabbed the only book in the house at the time - The Excorcist - and tried to settle down to read.

I had just got into the first scary bit when I heard a crunch, crunch, crunch in the gravel outside my window. It stopped. A short while later it started again. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Then it was gone. I pulled myself together and went on with my reading. About half an hour later, the noise started once more, stopped, started and then stopped again. I was trying to be really nonchalant about this, but I found the book to be so damned scary that I was gradually descending into a blind funk, as whatever was making the noise continued in this regular pattern throughout the night.

Very early in the morning, the houseboy let himself in to make me an early coffee and check if he could do anything for me. He told me that he and his friend, who was the nightwatchman, were very worried as they knew I had not slept all night. The nightwatchman had patrolled the building every half hour or so and, seeing my light on, and knowing I was in a lot of pain, he was pausing by the window and waiting there, not moving on until he could hear me breathing.

Of course, it was so obvious by the light of day, but to go through it with only that book for company was horrifying. I have never read anything which has scared me so much!!!

I never did see the film.
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Sep, 2007 07:58 pm
Good for you not seeing the film, lezzie. Why scare the hoohah out of yourself twice, like I did.Rolling Eyes
I wasn't going to mention it, don't know why but about six months after seeing the movie, still trying to get control of myself, I found my mother's copy of the book and forced myself to read quite a bit of it. All I managed to do with that was to undo whatever courage I'd gained and push myself back to square one, completely frightened all over again.
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Lightwizard
 
  2  
Reply Fri 14 Sep, 2007 09:59 am
"The Exorcist" was a 1973 nomination for best picture, but, of course, the ceremonies were in 1974 (the year of 'Godfather II" against "Chinatown," a difficult choice but mine was "Chinatown.")

"The Sting" was the Oscar winner and many believe "American Graffiti" could win it.

1974 Won the Oscar for

Best Art Direction-Set Decoration
Henry Bumstead
James W. Payne

Best Costume Design
Edith Head

Best Director
George Roy Hill

Best Film Editing
William Reynolds

Best Music, Scoring Original Song Score and/or Adaptation
Marvin Hamlisch

Best Picture
Tony Bill
Michael Phillips
Julia Phillips
Julia Phillips became the first female producer to win the Best Picture category.
Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced
David S. Ward

Nominated for the Oscar

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Robert Redford

Best Cinematography
Robert Surtees

Best Sound
Ronald Pierce
Robert R. Bertrand
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EmilyGreen
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Sep, 2007 01:57 pm
This thread has been interesting to me. I think its really interesting that some people just can't stand horror movies. I love horror movies (excluding the ones where someone gets physically tortured, that's just garbage, in my opinion). To me, its like watching a drama... only a really interesting one. And most horror movies are really funny, especially older ones.

Each Sunday I have a "horror movie Sunday" theme and watch at least one horror movie... or basically have it on in the background, since I can't really sit still long enough to watch much.

I'm not sure why I don't get spooked easily... I'm pretty centered, emotionally, and don't feel like much of the supernatural world could really touch me - if it actually exists.

Hmmm, now I'm in the mood to watch the Exorcist. (The book is basically like the movie, by the way)

Movies that truely scare me... and some of you will get a real kick out of this:

Planet of the Apes
I Robot (however that's spelled)
Arachniphobia

...and any other movies involving monkeys, spiders, or robots - yep, I actually have nightmares from those.
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Equus
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Sep, 2007 06:50 pm
I also enjoy horror movies: but excess violence is not necessarily just blood and flying guts. I'm not usually impressed by recent-decades movies that just use special effects to gross us out.

Some horror movie scenes that have really frightened me:

The Vanishing (1988 Dutch version) final sequence when the hero finds out what happened to his wife.

White Zombie (1932 Bela Lugosi film) cliche and dumb now, but the scene of zombies working at the sugar mill is startlingly scary.

Nosferatu (the silent version) actor Max Schreck seems really undead as he creeps around.

The Haunting (1963 Julie Harris version) The two women are holding hands in the dark while there are ghostly noises in the hall. "But I'm not holding your hand...?!!!"
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Sep, 2007 11:13 pm
"The Haunting" has to be the film that chilled me to the bone. Robert Wise took his cerebral eye from "The Day the Earth Stood Still" of science fiction to this examination of real psychological terror. Things going bump in the night never saw a truer vision. Want to take that trip up the rickety spiral staircase and the attic door? Yes.
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lezzles
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Sep, 2007 06:00 am
Oooh yes! You've brought it all back. I remember "The Haunting"! As you say, chilled to the bone!

"I Robot" - I do not acknowledge the existence of the movie.
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EmilyGreen
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Sep, 2007 06:02 am
I just put The Haunting on my amazon wishlist, Very Happy
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mismi
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Sep, 2007 06:06 am
Well...there are some ghost stories I don't mind, now that you all mention it. I loved "The Others", I loved "Sixth Sense" - but to me these were more like suspense movies than horror movies. And if you go back to the old horror movies, there are several there that don't bother me.

I think I am thinking mainly of the ones where torture, or disturbing scenes are the main reason of the film. SAW, Nightmare of Elm Street, Halloween...these are just unappealing and gross if you ask me. But every year my husband hunkers down late on Fear Fridays in the dark watching them...like a big kid!
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EmilyGreen
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Sep, 2007 06:16 am
lezzles wrote:

"I Robot" - I do not acknowledge the existence of the movie.


LOLOL I wish I could forget seeing it.
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Sep, 2007 03:10 pm
I remember "The Haunting". YOIKES! Shocked
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McTag
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Sep, 2007 03:46 pm
How could there be a place called Zamumba?
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Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Sep, 2007 03:59 pm
to answer the original question of the thread, see below...

























http://homepage2.nifty.com/charlie-exorcist/EXORCIST_Howdy_800x600.jpg
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Sep, 2007 01:42 pm
Somebody, on another page of this thread (can't find it now or I'd quote), said that the girl in Exorcist is an obvious victim of Turette's Syndrome. That could well be true, but -- given P. Blatty's theological orientation -- who's to say that Turette's isn't a malady inflicted by the devil, along with the other symptoms?
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eoe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 17 Sep, 2007 04:03 pm
Can someone remove that ******* picture? PLEASE!!!
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EmilyGreen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 05:28 am
eoe, I'm afraid this thread is going to give you nightmares. Perhaps you should avert your eyes Very Happy
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vinsan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 07:01 am
Which film is that picture from? (pardon my knowledge of old Hollywood films Embarrassed )
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 07:07 am
Just trying to get us to the next page!
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eoe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 07:08 am
Still trying...
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