A new "Exorcist" flick must have seemed like a good idea three years ago, with a director's cut of the original having just pulled in almost $40 million, a huge payday for a re-release.
If there was any life left in the satanic franchise, though, director Renny Harlin has snuffed it with "Exorcist: The Beginning," a cinematic abomination that's about as bad as you could possibly imagine a prequel to "The Exorcist" might be (for good reason, it was not screened for critics until the night before its release).
Three-fourths of the movie is boring as sin, the other quarter is loud, crude and awash in repugnant imagery. There are no true scares, only clatter, commotion, guts and gore served up as a vulgar shock to the system that for all its excess, is not remotely shocking.
Often, what happens on screen is almost dreamlike in its incomprehensibility as Harlin besieges viewers with barbarity after barbarity.
The story -- the priest of "The Exorcist" as a younger man in his first encounter with Satan -- holds no intrigue compared to the movie's behind-the-scenes tale, reports CNN.
Given this movie's background, it's not surprising. The film, fourth in the "Exorcist" series, was remade before it was even released.
The movie had a solid pedigree -- it was scripted by original author William Peter Blatty and directed by Paul Schrader (the screenwriter of "Taxi Driver" and director of "Affliction").
But the producers wanted more gore, more scares and less of Schrader, who was fired. When "Long Kiss Goodnight" director Renny Harlin stepped in to reshoot scenes, he ended up reshooting the entire movie, writes Seattle Post.
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