The Exorcist - Extended Director's Cut Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 9.0
Video 5.0
Audio 7.5
Special Features 5.0
Total 5.5

Distributor: Warner Bros
Running Time: 134 Minutes
Reviewer: Simon Black
Classification
: R18+

5.5


The Exorcist - Extended Director's Cut

One of the most iconic, fully realised and, more to the point, scariest films of all time, The Exorcist continually ranks highly in polls of the best horror films of all time and ranks as many a genre fan’s favourite, its legacy untainted by a slew of sequels, prequels, homages and ripoffs. 

The oft-imitated tale of possessed 12-year-old girl Reagan (Linda Blair, who won a Golden Globe for her performance) and the relentless efforts of her actress mother (Ellen Burnstyn) and Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) was nominated for no less than 10 Academy Awards and was, for a time, the highest grossing film in history.  Numerous alternative cuts have sprung up over the years, though for my money the present Extended Director’s Cut is not the finest of those available.  It contains numerous  gratuitous inserts such as multiple subliminal demonic head shots, which rob the one occurring in Reagan’s room late in the film of its potency, and the infamous ‘spider walk’ staircase scene is the alternate version in which Reagan spits a goodly amount of rather cartoonish looking fake blood.  Besides which it’s simply too long, and the additional 14 minutes do little for the film other than destroy its pacing. 

Picture quality on Blu is also something of a disappointment.  I’m not sure if multiple prints were used to conjure the present transfer, but certain shots and occasionally entire scenes are extremely grainy by the pristine standards of the medium, and overall the film is highly inconsistent visually.  If image clarity was the main reason for investing in the HD version, punters would perhaps be better served by hanging onto previous DVD editions such as the 2000 Director’s Cut. 

Sound quality on the present release is undoubtedly impressive however, with a robust DTS-HD 6.1 surround soundtrack highlighting the ingenuity of Jack Nitzsche’s masterful score, which incorporates elements of Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ in the famous refrain.  Sound levels are a mess however; one minute the dialogue is whisper-quiet, the next a telephone rings at a level loud enough to wake sleeping neighbours several streets away, necessitating so much annoying up and down with the remote control I thought my fucking arm was going to fall off. 

Sadly the Special Features are also markedly less than impressive.  The Blu-ray edition includes Director William Friedkin’s audio commentary but not his original 2000 introduction to the Director’s Cut, and while an all-new three part documentary has been included (comprising Raising Hell: Filming the Exorcist; The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now and Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of the Exorcist) the fantastic 52-minute documentary The Fear of God is nowhere to be seen.  Also excised is the excellent and insightful commentary track of William Peter Blatty, who wrote the book on which the film was based as served as producer. 

The Exorcist is a stunning film; groundbreaking and beautifully shot, with impeccable, truly disquieting performances from its leads and an unparalleled turn from radio actress Mercedes McCambridge as the voice of the possessed Reagan.  Its release on Blu-ray should really be something to shout about, but the glaring omissions ruin what could have been the HD release of the year.  Why not include both theatrical and Director’s Cut versions of the film, why excise Friedkin’s original introduction and Blatty’s commentary and why the lack of the deservedly renowned Fear of God doco?  It’s far from the definitive release, and the middling picture quality offers little in the way of incentive for the upgrade.






 
 



   Games
   PlayStation 4
   XBox One
   PlayStation 3
   XBox 360
   PC
   PS Vita
   Wii U
   Wii
   3DS
   DS
   PSP
   Apple
   Casual
   Android
   Classics

  Movies
   Movies & IMAX
   Blu-ray
   Action
   Anime
   Comedy
   Crime & Thrillers
   Documentaries
   Drama
   Family
   Horror
   Kids
   Lifestyle
   Music
   Romance
   Sci-fi
   Sport

   IT
   PC
   Apple
   Hardware

   Information & Fun
   News
   Interviews
   Articles

   Tara's G-Spot
   Loren's Level
   Comics
   Books
   Mind & Body
   Music
   Competitions
   Community
 








 
 




Impulse Gamer is your source for the
latest Reviews and News on Video Games,
Entertainment, Pop Culture, Hardware &
More!

 


© 2001 - 2013 Impulse Gamer
 

 

About Us | Contact Us