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In the Grip of Evil

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Is there any validity to the supernatural phenomenon of demonic possession? Or can such instances be explained through psychology and science? Charles Vanderpool's fascinating documentary-docudrama, In the Grip of Evil, successfully argues the definite possibility of demonic possession by recounting the alleged 1949 case of a 13-year-old boy that inspired William Peter Blatty's bestselling novel (and, later, blockbuster film adaptation) The Exorcist. Vanderpool aligns a range of interviews, from William Friedkin (director of The Exorcist) to supernatural "experts" to, most convincingly, one of the priests that actually took part in the exorcism. (Their views are countered only by one doubting psychologist, so the documentary is hardly objective.) Unfortunately, Vanderpool also felt the need to use cheesy re-creations of the events, thereby lessening the film's dramatic grip. Regardless of which side of the argument you eventually believe, In the Grip of Evil still leaves you feeling a bit creepy. The DVD is packed with supporting evidence of demonic possession, including the case-study diary of Father Halloran (one of the two priests who conducted the exorcism), newspaper accounts of the events, and interviews with the filmmakers. Those with a DVD-ROM drive can read all the newspaper articles and all the original letters, and print out several versions of the case study. --Dave McCoy

Special Features

  • Newspaper accounts of the events
  • Additonal interviews with witnesses
  • Original case study/diary of Father Halloran
  • DVD-ROM Features: Printable versions of case study, All newspaper articles, Original letters, Screen savers, Windows wallpaper, Weblinks

Product Details

  • Actors: Dustin Lawyer, Joe Kelly, Debs Szymkowiak, Tony Colavito, Ellen Strauss
  • Directors: Charles Vanderpool
  • Writers: Brian J. Kelly, Marilyn Vanderpool, Eleanor Grant, Thomas B. Allen
  • Producers: Brian J. Kelly, Helen Ryan Dobrowski, Marilyn Vanderpool
  • Format: Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Winstar
  • DVD Release Date: March 23, 1999
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305228914
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,728 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "In the Grip of Evil" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 24, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
It's not often you see a good documentary and then get access to the sources used to make it. I was quite impressed with this DVD and the story. It is much better done than your typical documentary fare.
To address the previous reviewer, I checked out the DVD of this documentary and I think they got it pretty much right. The DVD includes the diary of the exorcist priest and letters and newspaper clippings that corroborate all the locations mentioned in the film. If your basis for fact checking is the internet, I'm not at all surprised you think this film is wrong. Check the real sources.
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Format: DVD
I have the VHS and most of the facts are correct, as far as I can tell. It isn't supposed to be a "sensationalized" effort. In fact, from all I have seen of the video, it's presented in a very matter-of-fact way.

They're not looking to make "believers" out of people, but present what happened along with a critique from both sides of the issue.

Granted, I wouldn't be watching this for the same purpose as I would the Exorcist. The Exorcist was meant to scare the bejeezers out of you, and this seems to be designed to inform. All in all, well worth the money they charge.
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Format: VHS Tape
For years I've read that the "Exorcist" was based on a true story. I was happy to see a documentary of the actual events finally made. In addition to the excellent production values, the story was well told. The sincerity of the witnesses that participated in the exorcism came through in a clear and powerful fashion.
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By A Customer on October 7, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Being a HUGE fan of the Exorcist I just had to buy this video. It gave me a lot of understanding on where Blatty got his ideas for the book. It is in now way the movie itself, it is a documentary on the story behined the famous horror film. I actually found it scarier but that's probably because I have seen the movie so many times it has lost effect. Both of them are great!!!!
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Format: VHS Tape
i have long been awaiting the actual story to the original events of the 'pocession' which inspired blatty's classic film. while the film is indeed an enjoyable watch, you always get the feeling that it is not a true documentary as it seems to put cheesy entertainment ahead of objective facts, which is what i wanted to get out of the film(if i had wanted to see a load of exaggerated half truths i would have just watched the exorcist again.). but don't let me put you off as it is still very interseting and i have only seen the video, i am very interested to see what the dvd release offers(offical documents etc...).
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By A Customer on August 29, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
This documentary is about the true story of the movie "The Exorcist." This kept me on the edge of my seat! The setting is 1947 with Robby and his family. Of course you know in The Exorcist, a girl was possesed. The boy becomes possessed and The Exorcists come in!! I'm not going to tell you how he gets possessed, so buy the video and enjoy.
Check Out my Other reviews in Other Horror Movies! END
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By Jack on September 30, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This Documentary/Drama tells the true story behind the movie. It has interviews with a priest, who was a seminarian at the time, who was an eye witness to the rites. The film also interviews the director of the Exorcist as well as the author of the book by the same name. Actual portions of the diary are read. It does a real great job in supplying the background that was either "Hollywoodized" or left out of the movie. If you are a fan of the Exorcist, I would strongly encourage you to get this video! I found it did a very tastful and thorough job in explaining the story behind the movie.
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