And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!! Today, I’m sad to say is the last day in This Is Halloween – my week-long feature where I discussed my favorite horror movies. I’ve been holding out on you guys! Seriously, while I love all the movies I talked about, this last one quite possibly may be my favorite.
The Exorcist starts out as any normal horror movie. Chris and her daughter, Regan, are living in Washington D.C., while Chris is filing her latest film. All seems well, that is until Regan starts acting strangely. First she’s been talking about an imaginary friend Captain Howdy. As if that isn’t strange enough, Regan has seemed to develop super strength and starts swearing like a sailor. After a series of tests, Regan checks out as normal. But Chris knows her child is far from normal at this point. Little by little her behavior has worsened, her complexion has taken on a greenish hue, and Regan claims that she’s possessed. Not knowing who to turn to, Chris contacts a Priest is hopes of an Exorcism.
This is the plot at it’s very basic. It’s a twisted story that goes beyond the possession and the exorcism. And it’s layered with several sub-plots. Seriously, just watch this movie.
Why is The Exorcist my most favorite horror movie? For one thing, it’s one of those movies that leaves a lasting impression. There are certain scenes in it which are hard to shake. I remember the first time I ever saw this movie. And I remember, after watching, how Regan’s image kept flashing in my mind’s eye. Nothing was more creepier that watching the transition from a perfectly normal girl to a green-skinned demon. The first time viewers see Regan in her possessed state is down-right creepy in my book.
Like I mentioned above this is a multi-layered movie, and one of those layers explores the religious aspects of possession and exorcism. To say the least The Exorcist has firmly cemented my curiosity/fascination with possession and exorcism. True story: a few months back I went to a book signing after BEA14 in which Gretchen McNeil was signing. I was super excited to, not only get the chance to meet her and have her sign my books, but to chat with her. Gretchen McNeil’s first book, Possess, is about a teenage exorcist. When my chance to meet her came, I couldn’t help but tell her of my weird curiosity/fascination with this subject. She said that she too was curious/fascinated (hence her first book) and she believes that that curiosity/fascination stems from our religious upbringing. And you know what, I agree with her.
And still, what I love most is the exploration of good versus evil, and what happens when that line between the two is breached. Oh, and like I said, a horror movie is always creepier when there’s a kid involved!
Because I don’t want this feature to be over and done with just yet, I thought it would be fun to come up with, not only a themed book list, but also a list of other horror movies that you should check out.
Books With a Halloween Twist:
Carrie by Stephen King
Possess by Gretchen McNeil
Bliss by Lauren Myracle
Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
One Evil Summer by R.L. Stine
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
The Forrest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Shadowlands by Kate Brian
Frost by Marianna Baer
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
For Your Viewing Pleasure:
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974 original version)
Let The Right One In
The Evil Dead
Alice Sweet Alice
Friday the 13th
The Haunting in Connecticut
The People Under the Stairs