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The Exorcist
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I recently re-watched The Exorcist, supposedly one of the scariest movies of all time. I'll admit, when I was younger, I did think it was scary. But watching it now, I thought it was pretty silly, not scary at all, and I noticed a few things I hadn't when I was younger.

First of all, I hadn't realized how anti-science the movie was. When the daughter starts flipping out, her mother takes her to a doctor. Then another, and another. And guess what? None of those pointy-head doctors or specialists can find out what's wrong with her. In fact, those evil guys in white coats do a bunch of horrible and painful tests (not just one, but two spinal taps!) on her, and we get to see her wince in pain at this torture at their hands. This is all in service of informing us that there are just some things that science can't answer!

So who can? Why, the Catholic Church, of course! They come in gripping a book of the Rites of Exorcism, crucifixes, and some holy water, and take care of that silly demon. Whew...good thing it wasn't a non-denominational spirit, or Islamic, or Aztec or something. Luckily all the trappings of the Catholic Church did the trick.

And the movie went for pure shock value over subtle psychological scares...depicting a 12 year-old girl spewing obscenities (and green muck)and fucking herself with a crucifix. How did this movie get away with an "R" rating, exactly? I'm no prude, but that's about as crass and exploitative a scene in movie history.

Anyway, I wasn't impressed. I've also re-watched The Shining several times, and it's still creepy. I thought The Blair Witch Project was pretty I grow older I tend to like horror that's implied or left to the imagination rather than shock and blood thrown in your face. I also thought the American version of The Ring was very good.

But The Exorcist, with its adversarial stance against reason, its loving portrayal of Catholicism, and its reliance on pure audacity for scare's just not scary. It's lame.

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