November 1, 2018

Watch: Audiences Freak Out at Screenings of 'The Exorcist' in 1973

Afraid of 'The Exorcist?' You're not alone.

Halloween may be over, but The Exorcist, released in late December of 1973 and now celebrating its 45th anniversary, remains its own kind of holiday movie. The weather was cold outside of the multiplexes that screened the film back during the Nixon era, almost as cold as Regan MacNeil's devil-stricken bedroom depicted in the film. Although the film is perfect for Halloween, it's technically (if we go by release date) more appropriately labeled a Christmas movie. 

In a recent uncovering posted by Obsolete Video on Youtube, KNXT-2 reporter David Sheehan, going off of reports that audience members were fleeing the theater in terror and fainting once they escaped, spoke with several women who found the film too much to handle (even after reportedly waiting over four hours in line to see it). Check out the report below. 

It's great fun seeing the initial reactions to one of cinema's most iconic horror films, especially reactions that are so in-the-moment and visceral. The audience members are visibly upset by the film's graphic imagery and yet they seem determined, almost voyeuristic, to head back inside and see the movie through its conclusion. Sure, William Friedkin's movie might be a horrific experience, but is it anything a cup of water wouldn't be able to help soothe?

For more coverage of The Exorcist and its 45th anniversary, be sure to check out this recent Q&A with both Friedkin and lead actress Ellen Burstyn. And for more fun audience reactions to the film, click here    

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3 Comments

Ah, the good ole days.

November 1, 2018 at 4:00PM

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People had more attitude back then.

November 5, 2018 at 10:23PM

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Álex Montoya
Writer/Director
577

Guess the girls are young actresses and this is just a PR campaign

November 11, 2018 at 4:31AM, Edited November 11, 4:31AM

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