Exorcist The Beginning
The long awaited prequel to the 1973 original has been released on DVD. To say that it will go down in the history books like the original would be to exaggerate, but it definitely has its moments.
It's Kenya 1949, a buried Christian Byzantine church is found in the desert and is dated to a time when no such church should possibly have been there. Merrin (Stellan Skarsgård), an archaeologist and former priest, is hired to retrieve a demonic icon believed to be hidden in the church, but he soon discovers that there are more to this church than it seems... Beneath it something old and evil lurks and the hired workers, the local Turkana tribesmen, refuses to enter the site. Madness and death awaits...
The opening scene of this film is one that'll stick in my mind for years, a priest walking through a bloodsoaked desert, an ancient battlefield, until he finds the body of another priest.
As for acting performances, the overall impression is good, but Stellan Skarsgård is definitely in a league of his own and does an excellent job, this time as father Merrin.
Not an overwhelming amount of special features on the DVD, but they do include commentary by director Ronny Hardin and a look behind the scenes.
All in all I must admit I expected the story to be much creepier and scarier than it was. The acting is good, but it feels more like Indiana Jones than a prequel to The Exorcist. In all fairness though, it's a good movie well worth the time, just don't expect something like the original.
Reviewed by Dag