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Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)

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:
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Joseph
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Andrew French ...
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Semelier
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Father Gionetti
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Jefferies
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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

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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 »

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Details

Country:

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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:

$41,814,863 (USA) (5 November 2004)
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Unrated Version)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The screenplay had a long and painful gestation process. William Peter Blatty refused to get involved, resulting in over a decade being spent trying to get a screenplay together, with the producers eventually settling on a draft by Caleb Carr, which incorporated elements from an earlier screenplay by William Wisher Jr.. See more »

Goofs

When Merrin and Joseph perform the exorcism, Joseph responds "And also with you." This loose translation of the Latin phrase "Et cum spiritu tuo" ("And with your spirit," or traditionally, "And with thy spirit") was only coined in 1973, when the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) released an English translation of Latin ritual texts used in the Catholic Church. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Father Merrin: It's Father Merrin.
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Connections

Featured in Hagan Reviews: Battle of the Bone (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Florida Special
Composed by Dick Kolmar
Provided by Killer Tracks
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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