The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology | The battle begins on Blu-ray
In 1973, director William Friedkin changed the the horror genre forever with his groundbreaking supernatural blockbuster, The Exorcist, based on William Peter Blatty’s best-selling novel, in which Jason Miller and Max von Sydow’s priests Father Karras and Father Merrin battled to save the soul of Linda Blair’s sweary green pea soup spewing possessed youngster, Regan.
But the demonic entity continued to wage war with the powers of light in John Boorman’s famously flawed 1977 sequel, Exorcist II: The Heretic, starring Richard Burton in full throttle OTT mode. Then, in 1990, author William Peter Blatty wrote and directed the underrated Exorcist III, in which George C Scott’s troubled detective encounters demonic forces at work in a loony bin. Two so-so prequels followed in 2004 (directed by Renny Harlin) and 2005 (by Paul Schrader), using the same sets and cast, and both starred Stellan Skarsgård as the young father Merrin facing off the ancient evil in the 1940s.
Although it doesn’t include the Extended Director’s Cut, this anthology brings the five films together on Blu-ray in one six-disc set, including a host of extras. While the first film and the two prequels have excellent HD transfers, Heretic and III don’t appear to have been given any, which has ired fans hoping to see Boorman’s barmy sequel in a proper new print. Me thinks, Warners rushed this one out just to plunder the pockets of Halloween trick or treaters…