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Exorcist - The Beginning (Widescreen Edition)


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Frequently Bought Together

Exorcist - The Beginning (Widescreen Edition) + Dominion - Prequel to the Exorcist + The Exorcist III
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Product Details

  • Actors: Stellan Skarsgard, James D'arcy, Izabella Scorupco, Remy Sweeney, Julian Wadham
  • Directors: Renny Harlin
  • Writers: Alexi Hawley, Caleb Carr, William Wisher
  • Producers: James G. Robinson, Guy McElwaine, David Robinson, David C. Robinson
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 1, 2005
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00065HKLG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,103 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Exorcist - The Beginning (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Behind-the-scenes featurette
  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Exorcist: The Beginning (DVD) (WS)

Additional Features

The sparse special features on the DVD release of Exorcist: The Beginning are a commentary track by director Renny Harlin and a brief making-of featurette. Together they give scant insight to a movie that should have been better received in its theatrical release, if only for the pedigree of its franchise. The best thing about the movie is its ambitiously art-directed period plotline that shows Father Merrin's (Stellan Skarsgård) first brush with the demon that would bedevil the same character in William Friedkin's 1973 masterpiece, The Exorcist. Skarsgård is believable as a younger version of the older movie's Merrin, Max von Sydow, and he discusses his apprehension about filling such famous shoes in the documentary. But there are precious few behind-the-scenes details related in interview segments with Harlin and the film's producer. It's a typically run-of-the-mill DVD extra, heavy on clips and with nary a word about the infamous version filmed by Paul Schrader, then scrapped by the studio in favor of one with more gore and overt frights. (There were rumors of a DVD release containing both versions, but that plan was apparently scuttled.) Harlin's commentary is only slightly more enlightening--he talks a lot about the delights and logistics of shooting in Rome's famed Cinecitta Studios--but again, he's mum on being called in late to render an alternate prequel to one of the '70s all-time-great movies. The famous Exorcist curse did stay with him, however. He was hit by a car early on in the production and directed most of the movie on crutches. --Ted Fry

Customer Reviews

The acting, special effects, and screenplay are very good.
KevinB
THE EXORCIST is one of the greatest horror flicks ever made and all of these sequels, prequels... they will always come up short in comparison.
Caesar M. Warrington
The original Exorcist scared the crap out of me, but this movie just bored me.
J. Michael

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jesse B. Tibbits on September 24, 2006
Format: DVD
I was involved in the making of this film back in 2003/2004. I was hired as a wardrobe supplier. In fact, I still own the famous violet dress Izabella Scorupco(Dr.Sarah)wore in the final showdown with Lankaster. So, I feel the need to explain some things to the public. It's been two years now and I'm very upset with all the bashing this film has taken since it's release on home video/cable. Most of these reviews I've been reading on the internet are not only harsh but very cruel and also very ignorant. One even said they could not believe Izabella as a demon because she is "too prettty." Another one wrote they couldn't believe Stellan Skarsgard as the younger Father Merrin beause he is "too fat" to have lived long enough to be the old priest in 1973. People like this have no business writting reviews for anyone. I will remind them and all of you that don't already know. This was the only "Exorcist" film since the original to go to #1 at the box office. The second film couldn't do it even with Linda Blair. The third film couldn't do it with George C. Scott and Jason Miller. This should tell you something. It was not a great film but it is not that bad. There were many problems for sure, that is why the making of "Prequel" came about. Directors, writers and studio heads will not always agree on things. The original director, John Frankenheiemer died and Paul Schrader was brought in to make the film. The studio executives at Morgan Creek (the studio)liked the insightful story-line but felt a "Exorcist" film should be more intense and exciting. Renny Harlin was then brought in to give them just that. In the end, I don't blame them. The Exorcist films are horror and shock, not a story of a man and his personal demons for two hours with a bald devil that is more shrink than devil.Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sappho on March 5, 2005
Format: DVD
I have to admit that I was pretty skeptical about watching this movie, and have to confess that I never liked the original Exorcist. I always have bad reviews about these movies because they look false or don't have a real storyline, but this movie really impressed me. Stellan Skarsgård gives a strong performance, in my opinion, as Father Merrin, with a good supporting cast to back him up. Though quite gory at times, the movie keeps you interested, and the end has a nice twist. Overall, I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to anyone interested in The Exorcist movies series.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D Bourgie on August 7, 2005
Format: DVD
I don't see why people didn't like this movie. It's good. It has a good story and interesting characters. Stellan Skarsgård is great as the younger version of Father Merrin, the exorcist from the first film. The sets are beautifully constructed. Renny Harlin's direction is spectacular even under certain difficulties (learn about them with his commentary track). This film has some disturbing images. The acting and story are really good and there's a big surprise near the end. The only problem I had was a scene with CGI animals but it ends pretty quickly. My second favorite out of the Exorcist films, the original being my first. Highly Recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 6, 2005
Format: DVD
It's said that the devil is in the details and director Renny Harlin ("Die Hard 2", "Cliffhanger") gets many of the details right in this prequel to "The Exorcist". Although it doesn't compare to the original film (nor the third sequel directed by William Peter Blatty), "Exorcist: The Beginning" features a number of memorable performances and some startling imagery. While it may lack depth, the film does attempt to create something different and original from the original film and the tepid sequel that followed. Father Merrin (Stellan Skårsgard) has buried his faith along with a terrible incident from his past. Merrin has been hired by a mysterious man named Semelier (Ben Cross in a cameo appearance) to go to a Kenyan dig. It seems that Semelier feels that Merrin's skills as an archeologist will come in handy in helping a team uncover the mystery of a church dating back a thousand years before any Christian set foot in Kenya. The area seems cursed as the original archeologist has gone insane; the area has a history of plagues and death associated with it. What Merrin uncovers exhumes his faith breathing new life into it but also shakes him to his very core. Accompanied by Father Francis (James D'Arcy) sent by the Vatican as an observer and assisted by Sarah (Izabella Scorupco) a visiting physician , Merrin must uncover the mystery at the heart of this ancient church before disaster strikes.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard Byers on March 5, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I think that just like all sequels, this one will inevitably be compared with the original Exorcist. Frankly, I think it's actually a pretty good movie. Skaarsgard does make a pretty convincing younger version of Father Merrin, some 25 years before the events in the first Exorcist, and like Father Karras, has his own crisis of faith from his WWII days as a priest in Nazi Europe. As mentioned by others, some of the CGI effects could be better (the hyeanas, the sandstorm), but overall I did enjoy this movie and would recommend it.
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