Not Today, Satan!

not today, satan!

Picture of Vanessa Sully

Vanessa Sully

Guest Host / Matt’s Wife / Chris’ Sister-in-Law / Isabel’s Mom / Writer / Movie Lover

How many times have you heard someone say, “Hollywood is running out of ideas?” Or when faced with a possible remake of a nostalgic childhood movie, “Just leave it alone!” Usually, when I read an article announcing a rehashing of any sort, I scoff and dismiss it. I usually won’t watch. I don’t need to. My Goonies/Die Hard/Ghostbusters/Labyrinth/Gremlins/Dukes of Hazard/Mary Poppins experience was neatly wrapped up when I saw the original and I would never let anyone dare change the story on me. And let’s face it, they’re usually not good anyway. Unpopular opinion, I know.

The only genre I offer an exception to is horror. I am fully aware that’s not fair. I think the hypocrisy lies in that I usually give horror a little more leeway. I anticipate it will suck; new or old. My expectations are always low. I just want to feel scared a few times. It’s just a bonus if I’m scared AND it turns out to be a great film.

There are only few movies that this movie snob would dare call horror masterpieces – those that I believe deserve the coveted “Movie Retakes” 4 ½ stars (not only should everyone watch it but it’s damn near close to perfection) to 5 stars. (no discussion, just watch it) Think Pycho (1960), Silence of the Lambs (1991), Poltergeist (1982), Hereditary (2018) and, of course, The Exorcist (1973). Two of these have already been disrespected with a sub-par reboot.

This morning, I read on radiotimes.com, that the next on the slab is a 2021 reboot of The Exorcist. I have so many questions. The first being, “how dare you?!” William Friedkin’s devilish epic is not to be toyed with. And if you’re any kind of horror fan, you know of the strange happenings that occurred during filming. Leave it be. You will never do it justice and you’re just gonna piss off the man downstairs….again. Plus, there is no way that you’re going to come near the perfection that is the cast of this film; Ellen Burstyn as the desperate mother (Oscar nominated), Max Von Sydow as the seasoned Priest – The Exorcist, Jason Miller (Oscar nominated) as the young priest questioning his faith, and little Linda Blair (Oscar nominated) as the scariest damn thing I’ve ever seen on film.

Maybe the compromise is that they stop trying to re-do and focus more on expanding the story. This could be a way to introduce a new generation to the story and still respect its roots. Afterall, in the age of Netflix, Hulu and Prime, we are not confined to the cinema anymore. Fox did attempt this a few years ago with the series The Exorcist and found much success. It worked. We had a new set of characters in present day facing the same kind of evil. That actually makes sense in this story. The Devil would never stop trying. And if you’re a religious person, you would believe that he is more active than ever. Sadly, though, like many well-loved, expertly written and loyally watched shows, they pulled the plug after only two seasons.

For now, we wait. A good story is only part of the battle. The next link in the chain is who they get to direct it.  William Friedkin’s Oscar nominated take will be hard to top. This is more than a slasher film. It’s a psychological and theological thriller. That’s going to need someone with vision and a gentle touch. The content is scary enough. I fear, however, we’ll get what we always seem to nowadays – shallow characters, lame jump scares and too much CGI. Again, I’ll probably still watch it. It’s a horror movie and I’m a horror fiend. But if anyone asks me to review it after know this – I plan to speak the truth and shame the Devil.


Featured image credit: “Satan made me do it” by danny.hammontree is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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