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Dominion - Prequel to the Exorcist

DVD

3.5 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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(May 02, 2006)
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Product Description

Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (DVD) (WS)

In Holland during World War II, Father Lankester Merrin (Stellan Skarsgård - Deep Blue Sea) is forced by a Nazi officer (Antonie Kamerling - Mindhunters) to choose 10 of his flock to be executed, and the resulting psychological trauma shakes his faith in God. After the war, Merrin, on a temporary sabbatical from the priesthood, becomes an archaeologist in British East Africa, where an anachronistic 5th-century Byzantine church is discovered. As the archaeological crew digs deeper, it becomes clear that the church was not intended as a house of worship, but as a crypt to contain an unspeakable evil. But when a demonic spirit is unleashed, the tortured priest must overcome doubt and find renewed faith to perform his first exorcism in the horror thriller Dominion: Prequel To The Exorcist.

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Horror buffs will surely be compelled to compare and contrast Dominion with Exorcist: The Beginning, two films weirdly linked by film history. Director Paul Schrader shot Dominion only to find studio bosses underwhelmed by its horror aspects, at which point Renny Harlin was hired to direct another take on the subject with the same lead actor, setting, and similar storyline. That became the 2004 theatrical release Exorcist: The Beginning.

As expected, the Schrader version has more tortured religiosity and visual poetry than Harlin's cheesier (but admittedly gripping) re-do. Father Merrin (Stellan Skarsgard) carries his guilt from the Nazi occupation to a remote African archaeological dig, where a mysteriously buried church has been uncovered. Strange stuff happens nearby, and a fervent young priest (good performance by Gabriel Mann) parries spiritual points with the now-doubting Merrin. Some of the ideas are strong and the sun-and-sand cinematography by the great Vittorio Storaro is often stunning. As beautiful as the film is to look at, it must be admitted that the climax is disappointingly flat, the leading lady (Clara Bellar) is a washout, and one begins to yearn for the occasional genre shock of the kind Schrader was able to conjure up in his remake of Cat People. If you're an Exorcist fan, watch it for its serious treatment of Merrin's crisis, which ties in to his character in the 1973 original. --Robert Horton


Special features

  • Additional scenes
  • Stills gallery

Product details

  • Actors: Stellan Skarsgård, Gabriel Mann, Clara Bellar, Ralph Brown, Israel Adurama
  • Directors: Paul Schrader
  • Writers: Caleb Carr, William Wisher
  • Producers: James G. Robinson, Guy McElwaine, David Robinson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: WarnerBrothers
  • DVD Release Date: May 2, 2006
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000AYEL4W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,133 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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