Exorcist: The Beginning

User Score
4.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 51
  2. Negative: 22 out of 51
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  1. harrym.
    Apr 10, 2005
    10
    Just rating it in my own taste. I love the film. The critics are the worst. Thats all.
  2. TylerN.
    Apr 20, 2005
    10
    Very under-rated. Next to Saw, this is the next best horror/suspense movieout on DVD. Definately for fans of the original. Its good.
  3. Triniman
    Aug 21, 2004
    8
    Exorcist: The Beginning 4/5 A Christian church is discovered buried in Africa, about 1000 years before Christianity was supposed to have appeared in the area and it?s in pristine shape. On the inside are grisly images of the devil, suggesting that this is no ordinary church. The locals are terrified of the effort to unearth the church as some of them mysteriously die, disappear or go mad. Exorcist: The Beginning 4/5 A Christian church is discovered buried in Africa, about 1000 years before Christianity was supposed to have appeared in the area and it?s in pristine shape. On the inside are grisly images of the devil, suggesting that this is no ordinary church. The locals are terrified of the effort to unearth the church as some of them mysteriously die, disappear or go mad. Lancaster Merrin, an archeologist and a fallen priest, comes to check it out at the request of an enigmatic Brit, Semelier, an antiquities collector. Haunted by his memories of the Nazis killing civilians and his forced role in the matter, Merrin gives up on God and decided to pursue archeology and drinking. What makes this film surprisingly enjoyable is the performance by Stellan Skarsgård as Merrin. He?s convincing as a former priest, privately fighting haunting memories of the war. We last saw him as a bad guy in King Arthur and as Captain Tupolev in The Hunt for Red October. This film trades psychological intensity for gore and violence. It?s not really scary so much as it is a pederstrian romp through the catalogue of horror cliches. Some of the dialogue actually had the audience in stitches. Another director, Paul Schrader, made a version that relied less on carnage and more on tension, but it was deemed not commercial enough. There are several scenes that don?t really make sense. Who would visit this very creepy church or dig up some graves, all alone, in the middle of the night? Some of the imagery borders on tasteless. There?s visuals of a young girl being shot in the head by a pistol. Put in the hands of a skilled director and such a scene becomes a powerful statement. In the hands of Renny Harlin, it?s as subtle as a sledgehammer and repeated showings don?t add depth. There?s lot of needless imagery strewn about just in case you didn?t wake up and realize that this is supposed to be a cool, scary film, man. Look for some well-placed leaches, maggots, a couple of suicides, claustrophobic crypts, death by Nazi pistol, cannibalistic birds, a wayward moth and some dreadful hyenas that stalk the priest but decide to snack on a young boy. What was missing? Just some guy who can change into a bat at will and say, ?I vant to suck your blood!? Despite all the bad points, I still enjoyed it and felt mildly entertained. It can?t compare to the first film but it does stand on its own as something horror fans will want to see. Expand
  4. DannyG.
    Aug 20, 2004
    8
    This was good...pefect? hell no, but it was good. It was creepy, gory and enteraining what could u ask? yes it was kinda boring but for the love of god (no pun intended) its the Exorcist its always gonna be a little boring also the cgi was not that great either u could tell it was cgi.
  5. BlogarS.
    Aug 22, 2004
    10
    Awesome movie, recommend it to everyone.
  6. RevaE.
    Sep 2, 2004
    7
    I can't tell how much I would have paid $10 extra if Friedkin had directed it. Even though his way was somewhat simplistic it still was one of the best horror films I've ever seen (the original). On that note, usually when people hear "The Exorcist" they still get those images of Reagan's demonic face. For most people, the images (and possibly voice) will stay with them I can't tell how much I would have paid $10 extra if Friedkin had directed it. Even though his way was somewhat simplistic it still was one of the best horror films I've ever seen (the original). On that note, usually when people hear "The Exorcist" they still get those images of Reagan's demonic face. For most people, the images (and possibly voice) will stay with them forever, its made such an impact in people's minds. The thing I liked most about The Beginning was how it makes you think about how much the Churches actually DO cover up. (I wouldn't expect you to realize this if your one of those people who go to see a movie for the 'hot' actors.) Think on it for a second or two, Priests are still taught how to preform Exorcisms today. People like to often argue the fact that this can never happen and never has. If it can or hasn't happened, why are the priests still taught the rituals today? ... Also, I liked how they showed the church, the tomb with the stairs leading down was rather overused but it worked. Things I really didn't like were how they had the war, I'm sure we're all aware of the fighting in Africa. It didn't really give much to the real story and plot other than the area around the Church is like a playground of evil. Which again, is made aware by other scenes in the film. People who bash this movie and think the Ring and the Village 'out-scare' it, should not brag. Of course Sequels and Prequels are not commonly as good as the first, lets face its true. Anyways, I found The Beginning entertaining. The CGI was ok..it wasn't bad, you want to see bad? Go see Anacondas. I think Harlin tried TOO hard to live up to the original. Nothing mean towards Harlin, but I'm sixteen and I couldn't directed some of the scenes better. Still, I was happy to see that this wasn't as bad as the Washington Post claimed it was. If you don't like this film, you can always stay home and watch the original, it never gets old. Expand
  7. MohammedR.
    Apr 24, 2005
    8
    One has to judge a horror movie with a different yard stick that say a drama. In a horror movie it is 80% about the horror and around 20% about char development. This movie is not the most scary movie and being a sequel or a prequel does not help it being original. Is a total was of money. Absoultly not. It has a few good horror scenes and some char development. Is it all tied together One has to judge a horror movie with a different yard stick that say a drama. In a horror movie it is 80% about the horror and around 20% about char development. This movie is not the most scary movie and being a sequel or a prequel does not help it being original. Is a total was of money. Absoultly not. It has a few good horror scenes and some char development. Is it all tied together well, not really, that is why I gave an 8. If you have not seen any other exorcist movie, this one is not bad to start, but it is somewhat different. Finally, the quality of the acting is not below average for a horror movie. Expand
  8. AlecB.
    Jun 25, 2007
    7
    i actually really enjoyed this movie a lot.. . but it didn't really show how it all began now. Basically it was just a body count movie with tons of violence and gore and scary images. There wasn't even a exorcism in the movie except that cheap one at the end.
  9. Quiet
    Aug 21, 2004
    7
    It wasn't as bad as I feared, given the release and rumors around it. It doesn't begin to capture the suspense and feel of the original movies, but is reasonable dispite this. The story is relatively predictable, but enjoyable. There are tense moments, but no great shock or release. There are some mildly disgusting scenes, but no worse than the original, which now days It wasn't as bad as I feared, given the release and rumors around it. It doesn't begin to capture the suspense and feel of the original movies, but is reasonable dispite this. The story is relatively predictable, but enjoyable. There are tense moments, but no great shock or release. There are some mildly disgusting scenes, but no worse than the original, which now days isn't that bad. (It was shocking in its day.) Expand
Metascore
30

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 22
  2. Negative: 11 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    40
    Earns points simply for not being bad enough to leave a stain on the screen. Unfortunately, this annoyingly disjointed shocker stumbles badly after promising early scenes, and quickly devolves into a chaotic blur of underdeveloped characters, illogical transitions and standard-issue scary-movie tropes.
  2. 20
    Pokey, blood-spattered, cheap-scare-larded prequel.
  3. The movie goes too far on too little motivation - and the middle section, with its maggoty villains, roiling skies and native revolts, seems almost barmy. Yet Exorcist: Beginning does score a small victory. It's not as bad as you'd think.