If “Exorcist: The Beginning” is a new chapter of evil, it seems
as if a lot was taken from previous chapters.
The movie uses the same influences as “The Exorcist,” but the
images of upside-down crucified people and voodoo rituals are
evidence that the filmmakers tried too hard to make this one as
great as the 1973 original.
Hired to find a lost artifact of the spiritual world, Lancaster
Merrin (Stellan Skarsgard), a former priest turned archaeologist,
travels to the mountains near Nairobi, Kenya to search through a
recently discovered underground church.
As he delves deeper into the realm of demonic rituals, Merrin
develops a relationship with Sarah (Isabella Scorupco). Merrin
begins to unravel the secrets of the church until the natives fight
to stop him.
Merrin discovers that Lucifer has an influence on the village
and he is the only person able to fight against the devil. Through
his struggle with religion and reality, Merrin tries to overcome
Lucifer by slowly regaining faith to become a man of the cloth once
The loosely-linked plot makes the film difficult to get through
and “Exorcist: The Beginning” has nothing new to offer in terms of
The technologically advanced prequel is no match for Linda
Blair’s spider walk or 360-degree head spin.
Variances in the story, such as “The Exorcist” starting in Iraq
where the artifact is found and “Exorcist: The Beginning” ending in
Africa where the artifact is lost show that the film was not
Blood and gore are full-throttle and the Satanism is on overhaul
as the film tries to be scary, but only delivers a few nail-biting
For a real horror experience it would be better (and cheaper) to
rent “The Exorcist.”
If “Exorcist: The Beginning” has proven anything, it’s that
nothing is scarier than a prequel done wrong.