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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?


Paul Schrader was given no money for publicity or music production after Morgan Creek decided to release his version. He was also only given $35,000 for visual effects and post-production (which explains the shoddy computer graphics and inconsistent audio quality). Additionally, Morgan Creek chose the release date of May 20th, the weekend Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) came out. See more »


In the nighttime village scene where the native woman is giving birth. The hut is lit from the left by an pure white light source, so strong that it shines through the gaps in the straw structure. There are plenty of campfires to light the scene, and certainly no place for a pure white light source that strong in this location. 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

Amazing! 10/10
19 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Yesterday I received a bunch of screener DVDs from a mate of mine. Dominion: A Prequel To The Exorcist was one of them, but I held off watching it because of a few bad comments and reviews that I had read - I'm glad I did, but not because it sucked. After watching some really bad films, today I sat and watched this. Dominion: A Prequel to The Exorcist renewed MY faith that there is hope for more amazing films like this.

Dominion follows Father Merrin (who has lost his faith because of an incident with Nazis) on a dig in Africa, were he has uncovered an ancient church with a crypt (used for sacrifice) underneath. A crippled boy named Cheche is being helped by local doctor, Rachel, is effected when he crypt is opened, and his ruined arm and leg start to get better while everything else around them gets worse. Merrin must renew his faith and save the boy.

This film has it's flaws, but so does The Exorcist. The only problems I have with this film is the FX and dialogue. Yes, I know it seemed impossible, but some of the dialogue (not all, only a few little scenes) were cheesier than Sarah's dialogue.. "Dont you wanna f*** me anymore?".. and this is coming from some of the lead characters. The special effects are worse than the Harlin version too. But I cannot really comment on that much, since I read Schrader did not have enough money to complete everything.

The rest of the film had me glued to my seat feeling uneasy, just like he original Exorcist did to me. Stellan Skarsgard is so much more deep and realistic as a person than the hero Merrin he was in Harlin's version. Clara Beller was fantastic as Rachel, she was also a lot more real than the sex object Sarah was in Harlin's, and I felt for her more than Sarah (Even tho Izabell was great as Sarah, she was just too basic). Gabrial Mann was also fantastic in this film and he was much more involved than the Francis character in Harlins, and less cheesy, but more of a wimp, which makes him a more caring and likable character. When I read that a pop singer was going to be the possessed boy I was a bit worried, but this guy has a great future ahead of him. His performance of the crippled boy was touching, and as the Demon he is also amazing and does a really good job.

This film is very different to the past Exorcist films. But that is not a bad thing. This is not Exorcist 2 The Heretic. This is realistic and makes me feel something I have not felt since I first watched The Exorcist. The possession in the film is like nothing I have ever seen. It is like a total reverse of the cliché Linda Blair look. The Demon isn't ugly and yelling disgusting things. He is more of a sexual god (it sounds weird, even funny, but trust me it is creepy as hell) who tempts people into joining him. At first I thought this was a bad idea, because people expect to see an horrific person screaming bad language, but people need to realize this is so much better than that cliché rubbish. This is not your average horror film, so keep that in mind if you expect to see one. There is gore, but its got style. It isn't random killings like in Harlin's. This film has a meaning, this film has a soul.

I read Schrader said that you can't make a film better than the original, and I agree, but you can make one just as good, and he did.

Now I am going to watch this amazing film again, so see you suckers (who are still waiting to see this) later! :P


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