Movie: Exorcist: The Beginning

Our Rating: 1.00

Filled with maggoty babies, murdered children and even a wet nekkid woman, Exorcist: The Beginning is less a fully formed franchise product than a bunch of naughty bits strung together and begging to be spanked. Almost entirely reshot by hired hack Renny Harlin after Paul Schrader turned in a film deemed unacceptable by the studio, this prequel takes us through the early days of Father Merrin (Stellan Skarsgård, looking understandably bored after shooting two different versions of the same movie). Having turned in his collar due to his no-choice complicity in Nazi atrocities, Merrin has become a faith-free postwar archeologist hired to check out a buried church in Africa. The place boasts an upside-down crucifix and carvings of the demon Pazuzzu – always bad signs in our book. Soon, CGI hyenas are scarfing kids, a crazy French man is carving a swastika on his chest, a Satanic dust storm meanders in from the set of the latest Mummy film, etc. If this laundry list of horror makes the movie sound interesting, it's not: The effects blow, there are plot holes a supersized Humvee could drive through and the suspense is neutralized from the get-go. Since we know Merrin will one day regain his faith, reach his 70s and go on to be played by Max Von Sydow, why should we give a damn about what happens to him here?


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.