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Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  20 August 2004 (USA)
5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 27,190 users   Metascore: 30/100
Reviews: 304 user | 166 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

Years before Father Lancaster Merrin helped save Regan MacNeil's soul, he first encounters the demon Pazuzu in East Africa. This is the tale of Father Merrin's initial battle with Pazuzu and the rediscovery of his faith.

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(movie The Exorcist), (story) (as William Wisher) , 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Joseph
...
...
...
...
Semelier
...
Father Gionetti
...
Jefferies
...
Eddie Osei ...
Israel Oyelumade ...
Jomo (as Israel Aduramo)
Patrick O'Kane ...
Bession
James Bellamy ...
James
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Storyline

Archeologist Lankester Merrin is asked to go to East Africa to excavate a church that has been found completely buried in sand. Merrin is also an ordained Roman Catholic priest who, still haunted by what he was forced to do during World War II in his native Holland, eschews any religion or belief. He's fascinated by what he finds and that it dates hundred of years before Christianity was introduced to the area. Accompanied by a young priest, Father Francis, to keep an eye on the religious elements of what they find, Merrin makes his way to the camp. There he meets a young doctor, Sarah and soon realizes there is an air of gloom that envelops the entire site. Workmen go mad and a young boy is mauled by a pack of hyenas while completely ignoring his younger brother Joseph. Inside the church itself they find signs of desecration. Merrin is forced to re-examine his lack of faith and come face to face with the devil. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A new chapter of evil See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and gore, disturbing images and rituals, and for language including some sexual dialogue | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 August 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Exorcist IV: The Beginning  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,054,001 (USA) (20 August 2004)

Gross:

$2,689,909 (Brazil) (10 December 2004)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Unrated Version)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Just at the start of the re shoot, Renny Harlin was involved in an accident and broke his leg. He had that leg supported by metal support and a cast. See more »

Goofs

When Sarah is giving Joseph a shot, she gives it in the wrong spot. The needle is the size for an adult intramuscular injection which would be given in the muscular part of the arm. She gave it just a little above the elbow, which is not a very muscular region. It is possible that she would have to use the over-sized needle because of a lack of supplies in the area she was in, but she would never have given the injection in that location if she were medically trained. See more »

Quotes

Sarah: This place... it's cursed.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Exorcist: The Beginning - Behind the Scenes (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Luo Drums
Composed by David Bradnum
Provided by Associated Production Music LLC
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not the piece of trash that I was expecting
24 April 2005 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

There's no denying that this Exorcist prequel is surplus to requirements in terms of movies that needed to be made; but in spite of that, it's actually not bad at all. The film was never going to be received well, due to the fact that it's a prequel to one of the greatest horror movies ever made, and of course the whole Paul Schrader fiasco; but I'm happy to report that The Exorcist: The Beginning has risen from amidst the chaos and turned out to be a very decent horror movie. The action takes place before the events of the classic 70's movie, but it still follows the same character - Father Merrin, who was played by the great Max Von Sydow in the original, and is brought to life by Stellan Skarsgård in this movie. We follow him as he joins a British expedition in Kenya after an ancient church that has been buried underground for hundreds of years has been uncovered. You know what's coming, and this discovery is a springboard for all kinds of evil to be inflicted on the surrounding village.

The film really falls down on the character side, as we never really get to know any of them and with the possible slight exception of the lead; not a single one has any depth. That's unimportant, however, as this film's main focus is definitely the atmosphere; and it's suitably malevolent throughout, which does the film no end of favours. The action is very slow, especially for the first hour, but it hardly matters as watching the plot bathe in the atmosphere is always entertaining enough, and while it is slow you can always count on something to happen that will get the excitement levels back up. The film features several shocking and disturbing sequences, my personal favourite being the hyena attack; with the stillborn birth coming a close second. The CGI in the film leaves a lot to be desired, especially on the aforementioned hyena attack, but the effects aren't too much of an important element anyway. When the film boils down to it's ending is when it really lets rip, and the final fifteen minutes or so deliver some really great horror. While this film doesn't even nearly touch the original; it's much better than you would think considering all the turmoil surrounding the release and on the whole I give it a thumbs up!


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