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.
A police lieutenant uncovers more than he bargained for as his investigation of a series of murders, which have all the hallmarks of the deceased 'Gemini' serial killer, lead him to question the patients of a psychiatric ward.
A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl's father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
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
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 »
The crucifix hanging upside-down underneath the church resembles Western, Renaissance portrayals more than actual Byzantine depictions of the crucified Christ. In fact, it is even unlikely that a 5th-century church would have had such a crucifix (particularly a life-sized one like in the movie). Firstly, Christian artists were only beginning to portray Christ regularly in such a manner at that time, and when they did, he is not shown as suffering or dead as in later depictions (and the prop in the movie), but triumphantly alive and erect. (In fact, in some contemporary artworks - particularly Byzantine ones - he is even shown clothed with a sleeveless long robe known as a colobium.) Secondly, the Byzantines inherited early Christian distrust of monumental sculpture in religious art and so usually produced only reliefs: a crucifix featuring a fully-sculpted depiction of Christ crucified would have been quite odd. See more »
In this prequel to the classic horror 'The Exorcist' we meet Father Merrin during a phase of his life where he has lost his faith. Stellan Skarsgard plays this role excellently and is easy to relate to the character we know from the original film, when he joins a British excavation in Kenya where a Christian church has been unearthed. Beneath the church lies the dormant horror that Father Merrin seems destined to meet.
The direction is stylish, the cast are very strong, especially Skarguard, D'Arcy and Scorupco; and the film delivers background story and horror far more convincingly than i ever believed it would.
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