Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  20 May 2005 (USA)
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Years before Father Lancaster Merrin helped save Regan MacNeil's soul, he first encounters the demon Pazuzu in East Africa. Merrin's initial battle with Pazuzu leads to the rediscovery of his faith.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Crawford ...
Israel Oyelumade ...
Jomo (as Israel Aduramo)
Andrew French ...
Eddie Osei ...
Ilario Bisi-Pedro ...
Niall Refoy ...
Corporal (Thief)
Lorenzo Camporese ...
Private (Thief)
Burt Caesar ...
Dr. Lamu
Marcello Santoni ...
Dutch Farmer


Lankester Merrin is a archaeologist by profession but an ordained Roman Catholic priest who has lost his faith and abandoned his vocation. He is haunted by what he was forced to do in his native Holland during World War II. The church he's excavated in Northern Kenyan dates to the Byzantine period but this puts its construction hundreds of years before Christianity was introduced to the area. the church was buried to the rooftop in sand and as its structure is exposed, a madness slowly descends on the camp. the local tribesmen are prepared to go to war and demand that the church be buried. Soon, two British soldiers are found dead and their commanding officer, Major Granville, shoots a innocent civilian in cold blood. As fear descends upon everyone in the camp, it becomes apparent that a young disabled boy, Cheche, is possessed by the devil forcing Merrin to re-examine his own beliefs. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

church | faith | demon | africa | priest | See All (54) »


Drama | Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

20 May 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dominion  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$138,311 (USA) (20 May 2005)


$236,901 (USA) (27 May 2005)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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Did You Know?


Despite getting a screenplay credit on this film as opposed to the story credit he got on Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), co-writer Caleb Carr referred to this movie as "garbage" in an interview shortly before its eventual release, and deemed the version re-shot by Renny Harlin to be far superior. See more »


In the scene where the flag is being taken down and folded, "Taps" plays in the background. "Taps" is an American military song, and is not played by the British Army. "Last Post" would have been the appropriate music. See more »


[first lines]
Kessel: I am Obersturmfuhrer Ralph Kessel from the S.S., and this is one of my men. We found him in a ditch with a kitchen knife in his back, murdered by one of you. You see the German army retreating, and it makes you feel hope. It should not. So, who is responsible for this?
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the extreme end of the end credits, after the last production company logo has faded out and the screen is entirely black, a demon voice grumbles "I am perfection". See more »


Version of Exorcist: The Beginning (2004) See more »


Stardust Room
Produced by Mitchel J. Greenspan
Composed by Nic. tenBroek
Published by Ocean Life Music, (BMI)
Music Consultant Richard DeMatteo
Lyrics & Vocals by Devon Loizeaux
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Beats the "hell" out of Harlin's version
31 October 2005 | by (Williamsburg, VA) – See all my reviews

I watched DOMINION last night and found it to be excellent. The difference between this film and the Harlin film are like night and day. I love the slow build and the character of Cheche. Schrader delivers a film that not only comments on the balance and choice between good and evil, but also a great statement on colonialism. The only bad part is the choice of Gabriel Mann as Father Francis. Boy, he is awful ("!"), especially when he is working of Skarsgard.

But I can totally see why the studio panicked. Say what you want, but THE EXORCIST has become synonymous with vomiting, spinning heads and little girls cursing and I think that is what a majority of the audience expects or wants (based on my former dealings with customers at a video store and some heckled filled screenings). This is as far from that as possible and had they released this version, it would have died faster than Harlin's version or Blattey's own THE EXORCIST III (another film I think is brilliant but plummeted 60% its second week; yes I am a former box office nerd).

Regardless, this is a horror film for anyone who wants to think. If you want spinning heads, cursing and vomit, go for the Renny Harlin version.

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