Exorcist: The Beginning


Action / Horror / Mystery / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten10%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled27%
IMDb Rating5.11037026


Plot summary

Uploaded by: OTTO


Top cast

Stellan Skarsgård Photo
Stellan Skarsgård as Father Merrin
James D'Arcy Photo
James D'Arcy as Father Francis
David Bradley Photo
David Bradley as Father Gionetti
1.65 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 54 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by The_Void6 / 10

Not the piece of trash that I was expecting

There's no denying that this Exorcist prequel is surplus to requirements in terms of movies that needed to be made; but in spite of that, it's actually not bad at all. The film was never going to be received well, due to the fact that it's a prequel to one of the greatest horror movies ever made, and of course the whole Paul Schrader fiasco; but I'm happy to report that The Exorcist: The Beginning has risen from amidst the chaos and turned out to be a very decent horror movie. The action takes place before the events of the classic 70's movie, but it still follows the same character - Father Merrin, who was played by the great Max Von Sydow in the original, and is brought to life by Stellan Skarsgård in this movie. We follow him as he joins a British expedition in Kenya after an ancient church that has been buried underground for hundreds of years has been uncovered. You know what's coming, and this discovery is a springboard for all kinds of evil to be inflicted on the surrounding village.

The film really falls down on the character side, as we never really get to know any of them and with the possible slight exception of the lead; not a single one has any depth. That's unimportant, however, as this film's main focus is definitely the atmosphere; and it's suitably malevolent throughout, which does the film no end of favours. The action is very slow, especially for the first hour, but it hardly matters as watching the plot bathe in the atmosphere is always entertaining enough, and while it is slow you can always count on something to happen that will get the excitement levels back up. The film features several shocking and disturbing sequences, my personal favourite being the hyena attack; with the stillborn birth coming a close second. The CGI in the film leaves a lot to be desired, especially on the aforementioned hyena attack, but the effects aren't too much of an important element anyway. When the film boils down to it's ending is when it really lets rip, and the final fifteen minutes or so deliver some really great horror. While this film doesn't even nearly touch the original; it's much better than you would think considering all the turmoil surrounding the release and on the whole I give it a thumbs up!

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca5 / 10

Or, Exorcist: the African version

Here's a film which had a more interesting story behind the cameras rather than on the screen. This beleaguered production originally had Paul Schrader directing, but studio bosses were unhappy with his more intellectual interpretation of the events so they hired go-to guy Renny Harlin for extensive reshoots that amped up the gore content. What emerges is a troubled, visceral production with occasional flashes of greatness. Overall it's a let down, with a sense of what could have been rather than what is.

The film sets off on a poor footing with some extremely bad CGI work of a huge landscape. These kind of schlocky effects periodically turn up and are laughed off screen every time they appeared; a scene involving CGI-ed jackals is particularly bad. The ensuing story is choppy and disjointed, building up a series of portentous moments and religious iconography and then backing away from them. There's also a lot of bad taste stuff involving plague victims, a stillborn birth and colonial racism.

As the sort-of youthful Father Merrin, Stellan Skarsgard is a bit of a mixed bag. He's suitably tough, but his icy exterior never cracks for an instant, meaning it's difficult to feel any sympathy for him. He's supported by a bland James D'Arcy, a pretty-but-wasted Izabella Scorupco and two cameos from Ben Cross (a neat bit of casting, seeing as he himself played an exorcist in THE UNHOLY) and David Bradley. More fun is Alan Ford (SNATCH) as a delightfully scuzzy deadbeat.

Finally, after a lot of spectacle and not a great deal of sense, the film plays its true hand in the last twenty minutes. Here it becomes a full blown EXORCIST copy, complete with an extended and dramatic showdown between good and evil and not bad makeup effects. In actual fact I didn't mind the ending, it may be cheesy but at least there's stuff going on. I wish, thought, that it hadn't taken so long to get there – it's one of those films which is all build up and little actual climax. This isn't a particularly great film, but it isn't particularly bad either; just kind of so-so.

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle5 / 10

Not scary enough and way too slow

In 1949, the British army has stumbled onto a buried Byzantium church in Kenya. The church's date is too early and shouldn't exist. Merrin (Stellan Skarsgård) is a former priest who suffered a traumatic war experience. He's called in to help with the archaeological dig. Father Francis (James D'Arcy) is sent in by the Vatican, and Sarah (Izabella Scorupco) is also trying to escape the horrors of WWII.

This is simply not a scary movie. That's the biggest and really the only measuring stick for a horror movie. At almost 2 hours, it's way too long. The pace is way too slow. The look of the production seems smaller than what the budget would indicate.

The feel of the movie hearkens back to the 70s, and not in good way. Horror movies have moved on, but this one still believes that flies are scary. The CGI is not the best. The blood and guts are acceptable. The baby with maggots looks creepy. But other times, the movie holds back too much. The coyote attack should have been scary, but it's never given a chance. It's just not good enough for today's audience.

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