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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 27,339 users   Metascore: 30/100
Reviews: 305 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:

God is not here. 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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Unrated Version)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several changes followed the firing of Paul Schrader, both in crew and cast. Screenwriter Alexi Hawley was called to retool the previous script, and he cut off some characters of Paul Schrader's version, besides adding some new ones, like the one played by actress Izabella Scorupco. Actor Gabriel Mann, who played Father Francis in the original version, was not able to re-shoot his scenes due to schedule problems, so new director Renny Harlin replaced him with James D'Arcy. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 12 mins) Immediately after major Granville shoots someone, the camera cuts back to show Father Merrin shouting "No!". In couple of these shots, this character appears as if the weather is raining on him. Not everyone in the shot, just him (left hand side of frame). This occurs at least twice, and for everyone else it's a sunny day. (Freeze-framing confirms the streaks of water.) See more »

Quotes

Father Francis: You asked the question, now you listen to the answer!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Benchwarmers (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Hurry Back
Composed by Scott Nickoley, Ronald Dunlap & Steve Lang
Courtesy of FirstCom Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Horror movie, but nothing more
1 June 2006 | by (Hamburg, Germany) – See all my reviews

I watched Schrader's "Dominion" in the morning and Harlin's "Beginning" in the afternoon, hoping that watching them back to back would make a comparison easier than for most people who waited a year until the deleted version by Schrader was finally released. Renny Harlin used only a few minutes from the already existing footage, so "Beginning" really became a new movie. But unfortunately, the whole effort of re-shooting didn't make the movie better.

In Harlin's "remake", we get a smart young priest, straight from the Vatican (James D'Arcy) who has received all the information about the buried church in advance. In "Dominion", Gabriel Mann played an innocent priest who does not expect anything terrible, he just wants to start a school in the middle of Africa. The latter was the better screenplay idea in my opinion, because D'Arcy is such a cool "professional" that we don't really care about him, whereas Mann was a character the audience loves for his human feelings. Also there is more mystery in "Domionion" whereas "Beginning" once explained the whole background, and that was it - too easy.

"Beginning" has a lot more gory effects, swarms of ugly insects and its demon uses obscenities in same way Linda Blair did in the original "Exorcist" movie. This will probably entertain people who just want a horror movie and nothing else. Mind you, "Beginning" also has good photography, a few unforgettable moments like the battlefield at the beginning and good actors! But the release of the original version "Dominion" proved that the story has had more potential, Schrader worked more careful with the characters and their relationships and gave more food for thought. I voted 6/10 for "Beginning" and 8/10 for "Dominion".


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