Exorcist: The Beginning


In 1949, Lankester Merrin (Stellan Skarsgård), a former Catholic priest, takes part in the excavation of an ancient church in Kenya and finds that Satan is very much present there. This prequel to The Exorcist (1973) depicts a time in Father Merrin’s life when he had turned his back on the church but found a reason to fight evil on God’s behalf again. Renny Harlin shot a different take on the story after Paul Schrader’s version was rejected by the studio; a strict horror movie without any fuss. The final showdown delivers the goods, but this is above all forgettable stuff.

2004-U.S. 114 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Renny Harlin. Cast: Stellan Skarsgård (Lankester Merrin), Izabella Scorupco (Sarah Novack), James D’Arcy (Father Francis), Remy Sweeney, Ben Cross, Andrew French.

Trivia: Liam Neeson was allegedly considered for the part of Merrin; John Frankenheimer for directing duties. Paul Schrader released his version of this film as Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist (2005).


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