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Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)

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 (106) »


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:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mary Beth Hurt (Paul Schrader's wife) does the uncredited voice of Cheche. See more »


The Waffen-SS officer at the beginning of the movie has no rank or SS Rune collar tabs on his tunic, and he's wearing a Private's greatcoat with privates shoulder straps. 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 »


Follows Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) See more »


Back to Me
Performed by Devon Loizeaux
Lyrics by Devon Loizeaux
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Solid. Unexpected, effective film.
27 May 2005 | by (San Francisco, CA.) – See all my reviews

Exorcist: The Beginning was an ineffective film that contains everything I hate about current genre films: impatient editing and storytelling, lines of dialogue that stop just when some characters are about to actually say something, bombardment of CGI visuals and some seriously unnecessary gore effects that are akin to the movie-makers hitting the audience over the head with a Warner Brothers iron anvil normally reserved for their cartoon characters. What a nice surprise it was to finally see DOMINION on it's (unfortunate) limited run. Here is a movie that doesn't assume the audience is too stupid to actually sit down and take a story in without excessive music video stimuli. Here is a movie who's build-up is effective and will have many working hard to shake the uneasy feeling that, indeed, evil IS everywhere. There were some story elements from "The Beginning" that made no sense whatsoever. In this film - all is presented clearly, thoughtfully and much more unsettling (but it really hits you when the film comes to its climax). There is a scene in "The Beginning" where some crazed hyenas savage a character to shreds. Their appearance was curious and not presented as necessarily crucial to the film other than for one scene. In this film, just one look from them and you know right away they add to the whole atmosphere of the film. They are an ever present danger not only to the surrounding location but the always present evil watching humanity just out of sight and ready to attack when one is most vulnerable and alone. Another sequence featuring Father Merrin and Nazi soldiers is given a very clever, diabolic twist and adds MUCH to the notion of how the Devil deceives and tricks. In the other film, it's a scene where you know only that "this is what torments Father Merrin" - and that's it. Which is how this movie plays against Renny Harlin's "The Beginning" - an easy sell to the masses (it STILL didn't work). "Dominion" is a crafted piece where one single shot holds more story information than a 30 second sequence rife with vulgar, over-the-top digital effects. See this version - especially if believe that The Exocist story is actually more effective today than it EVER was.

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