Fans of the film will also notice several new CGI effects
blended into the movie. Split second demonic images appear on
walls and doors, and Regan's visage brutishly transforms during
her visit with the psychiatrist.In the year 2000, William Peter Blatty and William Friedkin
combined to cinematically rerelease a reedited version of The Exorcist.
This version restored eleven of the fifteen minutes that were trimmed
to bring the original release in at two hours running time. These restored
scenes include the cod-Casablanca (1942) scene where Kinderman and
Father Dyer walk away from the McNeil residence (which helps set up
the second sequel); several scenes that give more time over to the
initial attempts to medically diagnose Regan; and the famous spider walk
sequence where Regan walks down the stairs on her hands and legs bent
over backwards. The re-release also adds the dubious effect of several
subliminal shots of demonic faces being seen or reflected against walls
– it is an effect the film doesn’t need, the directorial shocks should be
enough to carry it on its own. Better is the new THX sound system
remix – here the creepiness moves all around the theatre and one is
made to jump at the unexpectedly loud slams and bangs.We took in a screening of this new digitally remastered cut of
the film just to see what had been changed when it was finally released
this past Friday, the 22nd of September. So, here's a rundown of the
additional footage included in this new remastered and recut version,
along with some notes of reference to what footage has been included
as outtakes on previous DVD versions. (Note that sound remix elements
have not be included as the whole sound track has been reconfigured,
unless it is somehow significantly altered or cut part of the film. ) :
The first addition comes right at the beginning of the film; in fact, even
before the opening credit cards. It is a brief shot that starts on Regan's
bedroom in Georgetown, and the light goes dark. The camera pans down
the rainy street past a couple walking down the street and stops at a
close up of a statue of the Virgin Mary. Some new music cues have been
inserted, and the brief few second shot then cuts directly to the credit
"A William Friedkin Film." Since this scene dissolves straight to the first
credit card, the music cue from "Beginnings from 'The Wind Harp'" is now
very quiet and indistinct.
A new, brief suspense music cue has been added to the shot of Father
Merrin climbing to higher ground for a better look at the Pazzuzu statue.
During the scene of the movie shoot at Georgetown University, the
soundtrack features newly recorded dialogue for the actors, AD, and
the crowd of extras.
A new scene of Regan's first visit to the doctor's office has been inserted
right before Karras' visit to his mother in the state mental hospital. This
roughly 6-minute scene features Regan's first visualization of the demon,
as well as Chris being told that her daughter is using "advanced" and "foul
mouthed" language. Regan is then proscribed Ritalin(!), a common drug
now but little-known then. This scene somewhat alters the course of
Regan's oncoming "illness," as the subsequent strange mutterings of the
little girl seem less surprisingly with this little bit of hindsight included.
During the scene where Chris tries to phone Regan's father for her
birthday, we no longer hear Chris scream, "I've been on this fucking
line for twenty minutes!" The shot ends before that line, and a new
music cue has been added.
During the party scene, the shot of Regan laughing while serving drinks
has been omitted.
During the infamous scene when Regan's skull is x-rayed, during the early
parts of the procedure extensive dialogue by the doctor and nurse has
been looped in, telling Regan to "relax," "lie still," etc.
As Father Dyer helps Karras into bed, removing his shoes and turning off
the lights, he simply says,"Goodnight," as opposed to the original version's,
When Regan is examined by the psychiatrist, a brief "morph" of her face
into the demon has been inserted right before she grabs the poor doctor's
nuts. A new Regan growl cue has also been inserted.
When Chris comes home to discover Regan all alone (directly preceding
the scene when she discovers Burke Dennings has been killed), three CGI
images of the demon and the Pazuzzi statue have been inserted on the
stove, the door and Regan's bedroom wall. These "stingers" appear briefly
for about 1-to-2 seconds each.
When Chris gets home and sees the lights flickering, there is "that new
music cue" again. It lasts from the point where the lights go out
completely to when she enters Regan's bedroom.
Chris' reaction to the news of Burke's demise has been reedited. It
features an alternate master shot of Chris and Jarv grieving. Jarv now
leaves the scene and Chris turns to Sharon, suddenly catching sight of
Regan behind her.
After this different take of the exchange, the infamous "spider walk" has
been inserted. However, this version differs from the deleted scene shown
on the 25th Anniversary DVD. The walk itself has been cleaned up digitally
to eliminate wires, and an alternate take of Regan spitting blood has been
inserted, with some additional CG tinkering. It is an alternate take of the
sequence that Friedkin and Blatty had tried due to the fact that the
scene "wasn't happening" for Friedkin as scripted. (The only version
previously known about is included on the 25th Anniversary DVD.) Both
the director and author/producer had long since forgotten about this
outtake, but recently rediscovered it in the vaults and used it as an
excuse to reinsert the whole thing! The inclusion of the spider-walk
scene also features another new bit of music, for more of a hair-raising
experience. This new spider walk is then followed by a full 20 seconds of
blackness, which seems intended to allow the audience to react to this
As Lt. Kinderman reveals his concerns over Burke's death to Father
Karras, "that new music cue" can be heard, once again, during this
scene. There is also new music during the new scene of Father Karras
at the listening station at Georgetown University.
During a mass that Father Karras performs, a brief extra long shot of the
sermon has been included.
After recording Regan's demonic voice during their second encounter, a
2-minute sequence has been reinserted of Karras listening to a tape
Regan made before her possession. This poignant insertion features
Regan leaving a message for her father after his and Chris' divorce.
We see Father Merrin receive "the telegram" as in other versions, but
once he reacts to it, we now can faintly hear the clanging sounds made
by the Iraqi blacksmiths near the film's opening.
After Father Merrin arrives to perform the exorcism, two brief shots have
been added as the priests prepare for battle. Sharon is shown listening to
a radio for comfort in the basement, followed by a subsequent scene with
Chris offering Merrin some brandy, followed by a brief friendly exchange
between the two. Father Merrin agrees to have brandy before the
exorcism, despite his doctors' warnings. It's important to mention this
moment of weakness on Merrin's part because it may have something to
do with his heart attack, later on. This shot also features a new CGI
background of Georgetown inserted behind the picture window of the
Just before Merrin and Karras enter the girl's bedroom to begin the
exorcism, Merrin asks Chris the middle name of Regan. This quietly
moving passage runs just a few seconds.
Following the first part of the exorcism, a brief exchange on the nature
of the demon between Merrin and Karras has been reinstated. (This
scene is also available as an outtake on the 25th Anniversary DVD.)
Following the "conclusion" of the first rite of exorcism, Regan continues
breathing, even when Karras looks over at her. In the original version,
she briefly stops breathing, and then Karras looks over at her.
When Karras "sees" his mother on Regan's bed, we hear the sounds of
that mental hospital all around us, letting us into Karras' guilt-racked
mind for a moment.
A digital morph of the Karras-Demon back to Karras has replaced the
Right before Karras leaps to his death through the window, Karras sees
the face of his mother in the window.
Two major additions have been made to the new ending of the film. The
first involves the medallion Chris gives Dyer. In the original version, he
takes it and she leaves quietly in the car. In the new version, he gives
it back to her before leaving. This edit changes the nature of the
encounter, and removes the apparent guilt and shame still felt by Chris
in the original cut which Dyer does not resolve. We also now see Regan
wave goodbye to father Dyer from the car as it drives off.
Subsequently, the coda (also available on the 25th Anniversary DVD as
a deleted scene) has been altered to give the film the "spiritual uplift"
William Peter Blatty has often said the film lacks. After standing by the
broken window and flight of stairs on which Karras was killed, Father Dyer
runs into Lt. Kinderman, and the two have a brief exchange about movies.
This passage is intended to illustrate that the devil has not indeed "won,"
and there is still goodness in the world(?) The "happy ending" is reedited
slightly from it's form in the 25th Anniversary video. Kinderman now
says, "That's important" twice (obviously the same line relooped). There
is "lip flap" (mistimed audio to picture) during this scene. One shot has
also been removed: Dyer and Kinderman walking toward the camera, with
Kinderman discussing a scene in CASABLANCA and Dyer saying Kinderman
looks like Bogart. The scene simply cuts to the long shot of the two walking
off after Kinderman asks Dyer to lunch. As the last shot in the new version
fades out, we briefly hear the Indian/Iraqi singing as heard in the opening,
which is then drowned out by the "Fantasia for Strings"/"Tubular Bells" mix.
Perhaps the most controversial of the new additions, Friedkin has up until
recently disparaged this ending along with most of the scenes put back
into the film) but since seems to have had a change of heart. Or is his
pocket book just getting fatter?
There are now credits for the restoration and reconstruction, resulting in
more of Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" being heard during this extension;
new music is also covered in the restoration section of the credits.[/SIZE]
Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.
We should start our own Exorcist thread
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