Sometimes it's difficult to define why a film or book remains a permanent icon of its field. There are plenty that I've seen or read which don't quite click for me, and some over time become so terribly dated that they become reflections of a time instead of pure entertainment. The Exorcist is not one of those films or books. This week, I re-watched it on the big screen in an empty theater late in the evening. I may have had an early shift in the morning, but it was so worth the exhaustion.
It seems most stories involving demons, exorcisms, ghosts, ouija boards - - any and all of the above - - are always on a quest to recapture the simple effectiveness of The Exorcist. It's not just the story of good vs. evil, but each major character has their own struggles. The mother. Father Merrin. Father Karras. It adds something important to the struggle at the heart of this story. Dread sort of sneaks up on you as it builds up to the final battle, and if you haven't yet seen this one (somehow) I highly encourage you to finally watch it. If not tonight, then definitely on Halloween. You won't regret it.