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. ChadS.
    Aug 22, 2004
    3
    In the Paul Schrader version, bet the farm that a confrontation between the British army and Kenya natives doesn't exist. It's evidence of being a hack if demonic possession is a premise that needs to be enlivened by white man's burden syndrome. "Exorcist: The Beginning" loses its focus when attention is taken away from the fight against Satan. The story also does a poor In the Paul Schrader version, bet the farm that a confrontation between the British army and Kenya natives doesn't exist. It's evidence of being a hack if demonic possession is a premise that needs to be enlivened by white man's burden syndrome. "Exorcist: The Beginning" loses its focus when attention is taken away from the fight against Satan. The story also does a poor job of suggesting the growing presence of the devil inside, and pulls a banal switcheroo on us, because "Exorcist: The Beginning" didn't want to be "Blacula". Inexplicably, the devil can leave its host without an exorcism. Schrader, a Calvinist, must've been attracted to this project because of Father Merrin's faithless post-concentration camp life. The slick, and sometimes sick Renny Harlin, shows the rationale behind Father Merrin's self-exile from Catholicism in the most sensationalistic manner possible. This sort of historical violence is highly inappropriate and offensive in a cheesy film like "Exorcist: The Beginning". Expand
  2. TrishM.
    Aug 25, 2004
    1
    How can you expect a coherent movie when it's 2 films spliced together. I feel sorry for the poor film maker who had to edit this film. They should have make a real life doco=documentary instead of this fictional disaster movie that would have been more scary, with the demonic accidents that occurred in actual filming.
  3. Eric
    Aug 20, 2004
    1
    Gory, silly and boring. Don't waste your time.
  4. RudyRudy
    Mar 3, 2005
    1
    Dookie. Pure dookie.
  5. AlexaR.
    Aug 21, 2004
    0
    It was a load of stupidness. It was soooo bad, I almost threw up.
  6. BillS
    Aug 24, 2004
    3
    Another flawed, oddball summer clunker, but not in the way most seem to be chalking it up... ETB cranks up the atmosphere engine well enough, and brings forth the crusted, moody characters with some aplomb. The wending way the somewhat tired story takes to get to the ending is tiringly dusty, windy & bumpy, but sets up the tension and mystery with a modicum of tact and structure... No, Another flawed, oddball summer clunker, but not in the way most seem to be chalking it up... ETB cranks up the atmosphere engine well enough, and brings forth the crusted, moody characters with some aplomb. The wending way the somewhat tired story takes to get to the ending is tiringly dusty, windy & bumpy, but sets up the tension and mystery with a modicum of tact and structure... No, it's that ending that really blows the lid off an otherwise competent and certainly-better-than-Heretic sequel. Here, Harlin drops his pretenses at serious horror and fires off several shots that seem directed squarely at the funnybone. I don't know how I kept from doubling over laughing at some of the bits, especially the very last climactic running-down-tunnel sequence. Honestly, I started to feel like I was watching Evil Dead 4 (which wouldn't have been a bad thing, per se)... No, ETB retains its satisfyingly evil facade right up until the very last few minutes, where the disguise is cast aside and directionless silliness ensues. Which, sadly, makes a truly screwed-up whole - and basically ruins the experience. Expand
  7. Gobngls
    Aug 28, 2004
    1
    The movie drags on forever and then rushes to a conclusion. Not enough confrontation between "the devil" and Merrin. Don't even rent it.
  8. DecepticonPom
    Nov 8, 2004
    3
    A potentially gripping story let down by the absence of a gripping script. A few cliched but effective momentary frights married with some frightenningly shallow performances make for a truly wasted opportunity... And the kids visibly looking for their marks is just ridiculous.
  9. MarkC.
    Aug 23, 2004
    3
    Just saw this film and I would not recommend you spending money to see it. This film not very cohesive and the scary parts are telegraphed. Expect dozens of separate scenes thrown together without any thread. The hyena special effects are cheesy. If your idea of a good movie is the boogie man jumping out and going 'BOO' then see it. You do get to see a dead ringer for pea soup Just saw this film and I would not recommend you spending money to see it. This film not very cohesive and the scary parts are telegraphed. Expect dozens of separate scenes thrown together without any thread. The hyena special effects are cheesy. If your idea of a good movie is the boogie man jumping out and going 'BOO' then see it. You do get to see a dead ringer for pea soup spewing Linda Blair. Expand
  10. Marquez
    Aug 23, 2004
    0
    My only complaint was that the sound effects were loud enough to keep me from enjoying my nap. This movie was two hours of my life that I'll never get back. Atrocious.
  11. GregTaylor
    Mar 16, 2005
    1
    Basic rubbish.
  12. Aug 19, 2011
    0
    I watched this today with my boyfriend and during the movie I predicted what would happen, and I was right every time. It was just too predictable and like other movies. Don't really see exactly how this is the beginning, and the movie stunk too much to watch it again to understand. :/ Plus, the DVD features were extra boring.
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.