A young girl, pale and sickly, stares menacingly at the camera
Posted on November 10, 2023

The Devil Inside: Talking The Exorcist (1973)

Elizabeth Erwin/ Podcast

In today’s episode, we are finally tackling the film Roger Ebert called “a raw and painful experience” that “transcends the genre of terror, horror, and the supernatural.” We are, of course, talking about William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973). Based on William Peter Blatty’s novel of the same name, the film is an acknowledged classic trafficking in body horror and demonic possession, scenes of which have morphed into head turning, pea-soup laced pop culture shorthand. But is there more to this story than meets the eye? We’re breaking it all down today with spoilers so stay tuned.

References/Mentioned in this Episode

Clover, Carol J. Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film-Up. Princeton University Press, 2015.

Collative Learning. The even darker underbelly of THE EXORCIST – film analysis. YouTube, 24 January 2017.

Ebert, Roger. “The Exorcist.” RogerEbert.com, 23 December 1973.

Happy Haunts Library, YouTube, 2023.

Heffernan, Ryan. “The 9 Most Hilarious ‘The Exorcist’ Parodies in Movies and TV Shows.” Collider, 9 October 2023.

Schuetz, Janice. ““The exorcist”: Images of good and evil.” Western Journal of Communication (includes Communication Reports) 39.2 (1975): 92-101.

Williams, Marlena. Night Mother: A Personal and Cultural History of The Exorcist. Mad Creek Books, 2023.

Winter, Douglas E. Faces of Fear: Encounters with the Creators of Modern Horror. Berkley Trade, 1985, pp. 36-49.

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