You can read about demonic possession. You can listen to stories about it. Or you can watch it happen as a growling beast asserts itself, amongst other things, into the body of a child in William Friedkin’s The Exorcist.
Father Karras is in the subway and a bum says to him, “Father, could you help an old altar boy? I’m Cat’lick.” Later in the film during the exorcism we hear the demon, Pazuzu say those same words in the same voice. This scene is the one that scares me the most in The Exorcist. A movie so full of moments that truly horrify.
This is the demons way of confirming that evil is all around us, even when we don’t think it is. That’s never left me. Whether it’s true or not I’m not sure, but it’s still effective.
The images during the final exorcism scene with the priests chanting “The power of Christ compels you!” over her body as it levitates above the bed are forever stained in our imaginations and our pop culture subconsciousness. This is an absolute classic not only in horror, but in film as a whole.
The power of pop culture compels you to see what else made our must-see picks on our 31 Days of Halloween list here.