The Book vs the Movie: The Exorcist


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Book written by William Peter Blatty, 1971
Movie directed by William Friedkin, 1973



Synopsis from


The terror began unobtrusively. Noises in Regan’s room, an odd smell, misplaced furniture, and icy chill. Small annoyances for which Chris MacNeil, Regan’s actress mother, easily found explanations. The changes in eleven-year-old Regan were so gradual, too, that Chris did not recognise for some time how much her daughter’s behaviour had altered.

Even when she did, the medical tests which followed shed no light on Regan’s symptoms, which grew more severe and frightening. It was almost as if a different personality had invaded the child. Desperate, Chris turned from the doctors to Father Damien Karras, a Jesuit priest who was trained as a psychiatrist and had a deep knowledge of such phenomena as satanism and possession. Was it possible that a demonic force was at large? If psychiatry could not help, might exorcism be the answer?


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Which I Viewed First: The movie.

Which I Enjoyed Most: The movie.

Out of 5 stars, the Book Gets: 3 stars.

Out of 5 stars, the Movie Gets: 4 stars.

Things the Book Did Better: Strong character development (even more than in the movie).

Things the Movie Did Better: Although the book was good, it was more enjoyable to watch than to read. The book got a bit too stuffy at times. The acting and atmosphere in the movie are great.

Verdict?: Movie, but definitely recommend the book as well.

Why?: Just more enjoyable for me personally as a film.

Should the movie be re-made?: No.

What do you think? Agree, disagree? Would love to hear your thoughts!





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