For months now, cinephiles have been anxiously anticipating the release of William Friedkin’s documentary The Devil and Father Amorth, the documentation of a real-life exorcism by the man whose film The Exorcist made the practice (in)famous. Last December, Friedkin wrote an op-ed piece in Vanity Fair detailing some of the things he had seen happen during the exorcism of Rosa, an Italian woman who was undergoing her ninth exorcism with Father Amorth. Skeptic or not, the possibility of a true crime angle to the practice of exorcisms — one that explores the science and psychology of the practice, bookended by some shocking footage of the exorcism itself — was a really hard thing to pass up.
Originally released in 1973, The Exorcist has since gone on to be recognized as one of the greatest horror films of all time. It also jumpstarted the cultural fascination with the occult ritual of exorcism, an act still practiced by the Catholic Church — though not without rigorous screening. It was in seeking out just how accurately The Exorcist captured the authenticity of the act that director William Friedkin sought out the “Dean of Exorcists” last year.
With this week’s release of The Fate of the Furious, we thought it’d be a fun time to do one of our occasional lists of the 25 best films of the last 25 years in a certain category. In the past we’ve done the best sci-fi movies, the best romances, the best sex scenes, and others. This time, for F8, the best car chases of the last 25 years seemed like a perfect fit.
Warner Bros. asked Stanley Kubrick to direct the film, but he turned it down. (Things worked out pretty well with director William Friedkin in charge anyway.) That’s just one of the many facts packed into the latest episode of You Think You Know Movies, which looks at one of the scariest horror movies ever made, The Exorcist.