Culture Impact of The Exorcist…

When I think of horror movies..this one tops the list. I don’t get scared easy and slasher films make me laugh more than anything. This film is different to me than other horror movies. It’s been copied with sometimes awful results.

I got to see this in a theater in 2000 on Halloween at the re-release of the directors cut. It was an experience I’ll never forget. The place was full of teenagers who were scared even though they had seen more modern horror movies but this one still worked.

When it was released in 1973 it was a huge success. Lines wrapped around street corners waiting to get in to see this. It broke records across the nation in most theaters it opened. The Exorcist went on to gross $232.91 million (Not adjusted to today’s money) domestically. The Exorcist film has grossed over $441 million at the worldwide box office.

I remember first hand on how this was handled by theaters. My cousin was pregnant at the time this movie premiered in 1973 and they would not let her in to see the movie because they did not want to be liable.

People were fainting or becoming ill at almost every show. This movie has its place firmly in 70’s pop culture.

Stephen King: [The Exorcist] is a film about explosive social change, a finely honed focusing point for that entire youth explosion that took place in the late sixties and early seventies. It was a movie for all those parents who felt, in a kind of agony and terror, that they were losing their children and could not understand why or how it was happening.



Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

37 thoughts on “Culture Impact of The Exorcist…”

  1. I saw it for the first time aged 16/17, and it scared the hell out of me. Bad dreams for a few nights… It’s the unrelentingly creepy atmosphere that does it, more than any jump scares

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent post. I like the way you talk about the cultural impact of the film through your own experience with. That’s good writing. I would have liked to have read more.
    I’ve never read watched it in its entirety. I don’t watch films that deal with the occult, Satan, witchcraft and the like. So I just watch a lot of them about the mafia, hit men and serial killers instead. Ha!
    My husband has watched it. Just about everybody that I know, including my late mother, has seen it. My husband said it was scary as…My mom said it wasn’t. But one thing I know about it. It had a huge culturally impact. Really huge.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Pam… It’s one of the only films that truly scared me. No jump scares in this…it doesn’t need it. It’s a slow climb and somethings were just so un-natural.

      I was surprised at the info I found on it. How successful it was…that was quite a feat considering it was Rated R. Turning away my cousin is something I’ll never forget. I was really young but I remember her telling me that. Of course…that made me want to see it when I got older.

      It’s funny though…the one thing that made people sick was a scene that had nothing to do with horror…it was in a hospital and a arteriography scene.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That shocked me also…the scources I found gave that number without an adjustment…and a rated R film in 73 on top of everything else.


  3. I read the book first. You think the movie is scary, the book has a lot more space to develop the plot. I don’t remember how the movie starts, but with the book it starts with the little girl and how she becomes possessed. I read it as a teenager and probably shouldn’t have. The movie is terrifying but theatrical. It’s a classic tale of good vs. evil.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I need to read the book. The movie starts out in Iraq with the priest digging for relics.
      It’s a powerful movie…I had no clue it was this successful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Think of how many movies have stolen from this movie, where heads are spinning, vomit spewing forth, and the priest trying to drive out the evil. Hammer Films did a lot of it first, but The Exorcist took it to a whole new level. The public latched on to it like a vampire latches onto a neck. lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. lol… The producers had to sue some studios because of rip offs. Beyond the Door 1974 was one…but I have to admit…I liked it lol.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes agree the book was terrifying to me when I read it as a teenager – and having been raised Catholic made me feel that this could happen to me or my friends. Saw the movies a bit later and it lived up to the book. An example of this not working was Ammityville Horror – I found the book pretty scary but the movie was a joke

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Paul, I don’t remember in the book, was there a part where the priest went and found relics? I thought the girl got possessed and the priest was called in to exorcise her. Maybe I just forgot part of it. I’ve read other books then watched the movies: Jaws, Poseidon Adventure, The Godfather, The Valachi Papers, Tolkien books, Dracula. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. I prefer to read the books, as you can get into much greater detail, but books take time.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Ben so long I don’t really remember – I want to say the relics scene was in book. And maybe in one of the latter sequels (which all sucked). Of course maybe I am getting confused Re relics and movie with the Omen

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Both of you have convinced me to read it… The priest was basically an archeologist. He found something in Iraq and it seemed to tie in with everything.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. More I think about it think you are right that movie just focused on girl – I loved the way I slowly ramps up – first some strange unexplained things and behaviors and the. It just descends from there.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. I am going to read it… got to. As the film goes…it is what other horror movies strive to be.

        For me the King book IT …. I love the book but I wish they would have made a 20 episode series out of it and done it right instead of a movie or two.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. IT is like it’s own little universe. I don’t like it because of the horror…it’s like a coming of age story with a horror twist.
        You know the fictional town of Derry afterward.

        I’m going to grab the Exorcist from audible soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Just watched the one video on the cultural impact – amazing – has there ever been another movie that not only was so popular but also caused such extreme reactions. I can think of examples of one or the other but both!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And the money it made being R Rated in 1973… It shocked people no doubt. I watched it this week and also the making of… Good acting good story.
      Can’t wait to read it now

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My brothers watched this movie back in the 80s when I was probably like 6 or 7. I stayed in my room but I could still hear many of the sounds and that terror has stayed with me til this day. I did see The Exorcism of Emily Rose in the theatre years later. Wow, it was scary and people in the theatre were freaking out!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it was… When they were turning away people you know it was messing with them.

      It still holds up well as a horror movie…I would easily say it is scarier than anything today. I’m not a real big horror fan but I like it.
      Thanks for Commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I watched horror movies when I was a teenager. At a certain point you realize that the real world is just as scary and horrifying and you don’t need to watch them anymore 😕

        Liked by 1 person

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