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October Creature Features Satan and The Exorcists

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October Creature Features Satan and The Exorcists

 

Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist

220px-Dominion_A_Prequel_to_the_Exorcist_poster

 

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

The movie, “The Exorcist,” started it all. In the early 1970s, American troops were still being sent overseas to serve in the Vietnam War, which had “no end in sight.” Students on college campuses kept protesting “American involvement:” and calling for the US Government to “End The War: and send the troops home.

 

The Vietnam War had served to make people skeptical, jaded and cynical. Religion was “out of fashion” and a younger America simply was not believing in “Good or Evil, “ “God or The Devil.”

 

Science was suppose to have “All The Answers.” In the late 1960s and early 1970s, “Psychology” had come to the forefront as being able to provide all the answers. Everyone in America, it seemed, “wanted to be a psychiatrist.”

 

Hollywood cashed in on the “psychiatry fad” and made movie after movie like “Raising Cain,” where psychiatry was suppose to be able to explain everything about the human mind and human nature.

 

Then, the original “Exorcist” movie arrived in theater. People started going back to church. Once again, people felt “The Need For God” and “A Fear Of Satan.”

 

An one of the lesser known rituals of the Catholic church had suddenly taken center stage and people were talking about “exorcisms” and “exorcist.”

 

The movie, “Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist” is a good horror movie. The story basically centers around the character of Father Lankaster Merrin, who is the archaeologist priest who looses his faith and really has to “dig” to find it.

 

The 2005 movie casts Stellan Skarsgård in the role of Father Merrin and he does an excellent job in the role.

 

There is a young teenage boy in the movie, who get possessed by the demon, which would be understandable if the plot line was designed to show how the young teenage boy fought against the demon inside him; the story doesn’t go in that direction.

 

Actor Ralph Brown plays the Sergeant Major in the film and gives an outstanding performance of an enlisted military man willing to step up and take charge on behalf of his troops and his major.

 

The major problem with this film as a demon creature feature is I got the feeling, “Satan was out of the office, On Vacation” and a low-ranking demon took the call and tried to “wing it” on the Evil aspects in the movie.

 

As a horror flick goes I give it three stars overall.

 

 

Exorcist: The Beginning

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Magnificent,” is the word I use to rate this film, which is also a prequel to the original “Exorcist” film. I liked everything about this film. It is a creative horror film. Many of the original actors from “Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist” are in this film.

 

I consider “Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist” to be a filmed dress rehearsal for this movie.

 

Actor Stellan Skarsgård is Father Lankaster Merrin, the Roman Catholic priest archaeologist in this movie as well as in the “Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist” flick.

 

In this movie, Merrin is a “down on his luck” priest in a bar. Actor Ben Cross walks into the bar as Semelier, a mysterious man to makes Father Merrin an offer he can’t refuse. Mr. Cross has such style in playing villains that automatically I suspected he might be portraying Satan incarnate.

 

The story, the set, the costumes, the cast — everything works in this movie. The disappointment is the Sergeant Major was written out of this movie.

 

This movie and “Dominion” uses special effects to tell the story and in both movies the special effects add to, but do not take away from or overwhelm either story.

 

In this movie, obviously, Satan was back on the job and ready for his close up. The movie allows the viewer to sense the demonic presence and sense it is just around the corner.

Crows, also called, ravens represent an ominous aspect of the supernatural. The crows are everywhere in this movie, when you seem to least expect it.

 

Skarsgård as Father Merrin wants to be left alone to unearth this buried church. He isn’t interested in giving Communion or hearing confessions, but he is curious about the archaeologist who started the dig, who went mad and ended up hospitalized in a sanitarium in Nairobi.

 

What is a film without a leading lady ?

 Izabella Scorupco plays Sarah, the doctor, who tempts Father Merrin’s heart and soul.

Merrin and Sarah both carry their demons from World War II. She lived in a concentration camp and he. . keeps remembering what the Nazi officer told him, “God, isn’t here today, priest.” Then, he sees the muzzle flashes of weapons in his mind.

 

Actor James D’Arcy in the role of Father Francis certainly seems like an able-bodied young Vatican administrator sent to look over Father Merrin’s shoulder to protect the interests of the Church.

 

Children in a movie seem a sure way to get a movie either a G rating or make it attractive to a younger audience.

Obviously based on the gore in the movie, the plan was not to get a G or PG rating.

 

Remy Sweeney, a little boy plays Joseph, the little boy, in this film. He should of got an Academy Award because he played a little boy the best way to play a little boy by being a little boy.

He is convincing in the role he plays from the moment he begins. He adds to the story and is a part of the story without ever taking away from the story.

Izabella Scorupco in the role of Sarah, definitely earned every cent of her paychecks for this movie. She displayed a wide range of acting talent from the dedicated doctor to the troubled woman. . .and, then, she gets possessed.

 

Professional movie critics didn’t seem to like either one of these films. I believe “Exorcist: The Beginning” is a credit to the original “Exorcist” movie and does a wonderful job of laying the foundation for that movie.

 

Mr. Skarsgård lives the role of Father Merrin in the movie and “redeems” the priest who finds his faith and pride in his face to face with Evil. Thus, when Semelier, remarks “Merrin.” The Roman Catholic Exorcist Priest corrects him, “Father Merrin.”

 

I rate this movie a Five Star Creature Feature. The realistic scary Halloween makeup of the demonic creature is worth Five Stars, in addition, to my rating for the movie.

Sam

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
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2 Responses

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  1. The producers fired Schrader and replaced him with Harlin. Screenwriter Alexi Hawley was called to retool the previous script, and he cut out some characters of Paul Schrader’s version and added some new ones. Harlin went back and re-filmed most of the movie, adding new characters and deleting others. The character of Father Francis, originally played by Gabriel Mann , had to be recast with D’Arcy because Mann had a scheduling conflict. A character played by Izabella Scorupco was introduced.

    gold price

    October 19, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    • Robin,

      Thank you for the information. In the research, I found out they they made personnel changes and shelved the project for awhile.

      Leave it to Hollywood though to confuse people by releasing both versions without bothering to make major changes in either the script or the production to come up with two completely different movies. I like “Sxorcist The Beginning” more because it seems like they really worked on that movie. “Dominion”Prequel to the Exorcist” to me seems like they were trying to figure out how to make a believable horror movie that would get a G or PG rating. Finally, they just decided to end the movie.

      Sam

      samwarren55

      October 20, 2012 at 5:16 AM


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