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Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)

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0:30 | Trailer

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Years before Father Lankester 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.

Director:

Renny Harlin

Writers:

William Peter Blatty (movie The Exorcist), William Wisher (story) | 2 more credits »
6 nominations. See more awards »

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Stars: George C. Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stellan Skarsgård ... Father Merrin
Izabella Scorupco ... Sarah
James D'Arcy ... Father Francis
Remy Sweeney ... Joseph
Julian Wadham ... Major Granville
Andrew French Andrew French ... Chuma
Ralph Brown ... Sergeant Major
Ben Cross ... Semelier
David Bradley ... Father Gionetti
Alan Ford ... Jefferies
Antonie Kamerling ... Lieutenant Kessel
Eddie Osei Eddie Osei ... Emekwi
Israel Oyelumade ... Jomo (as Israel Aduramo)
Patrick O'Kane ... Bession
James Bellamy 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

Taglines:

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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 August 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Exorcist IV: The Beginning See more »

Filming Locations:

Casablanca, Morocco See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,054,001, 22 August 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$41,821,986

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$36,178,600
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Unrated Version)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally rated NC-17 "due to the film being too graphic and violent". The offending scenes were edited and the result was the R-rating for "strong violence and gore, disturbing images and rituals, and for language including some sexual dialogue". See more »

Goofs

When Merrin meets with Jeffries for the first time, the amount of sweat on Merrin's shirt varies between shots. See more »

Quotes

Sarah: Sometimes I think the best view of God is from Hell.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Yes Man (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Call to Prayers
Composed by Robert J. Walsh
Courtesy of FirstCom Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Horror movie, but nothing more
1 June 2006 | by unbrokenmetalSee all my reviews

I watched Schrader's "Dominion" in the morning and Harlin's "Beginning" in the afternoon, hoping that watching them back to back would make a comparison easier than for most people who waited a year until the deleted version by Schrader was finally released. Renny Harlin used only a few minutes from the already existing footage, so "Beginning" really became a new movie. But unfortunately, the whole effort of re-shooting didn't make the movie better.

In Harlin's "remake", we get a smart young priest, straight from the Vatican (James D'Arcy) who has received all the information about the buried church in advance. In "Dominion", Gabriel Mann played an innocent priest who does not expect anything terrible, he just wants to start a school in the middle of Africa. The latter was the better screenplay idea in my opinion, because D'Arcy is such a cool "professional" that we don't really care about him, whereas Mann was a character the audience loves for his human feelings. Also there is more mystery in "Domionion" whereas "Beginning" once explained the whole background, and that was it - too easy.

"Beginning" has a lot more gory effects, swarms of ugly insects and its demon uses obscenities in same way Linda Blair did in the original "Exorcist" movie. This will probably entertain people who just want a horror movie and nothing else. Mind you, "Beginning" also has good photography, a few unforgettable moments like the battlefield at the beginning and good actors! But the release of the original version "Dominion" proved that the story has had more potential, Schrader worked more careful with the characters and their relationships and gave more food for thought. I voted 6/10 for "Beginning" and 8/10 for "Dominion".


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