Exorcist II: The Heretic – Blu-ray Review

Infamous sequel to the classic horror film 3.5 Stars

Sometimes, you can have the best of intentions for a movie and it can still go horribly wrong; such is the case for Exorcist II: The Heretic. It not only endured a troubled production, but it had to live in the shadow of its enormously successful predecessor in terms of what audiences expected from a sequel. Understandably maligned in its time by both critics and audiences, the movie now arrives in a Collector’s Edition from Scream Factory for those to judge for themselves.

Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
Released: 17 Jun 1977
Rated: R
Runtime: 118 min
Director: John Boorman
Genre: Horror
Cast: Linda Blair, Richard Burton, Louise Fletcher, Max von Sydow
Writer(s): William Goodhart
Plot: A teenage girl once possessed by a demon finds that it still lurks within her. Meanwhile, a priest investigates the death of the girl's exorcist.
IMDB rating: 3.7
MetaScore: N/A

Disc Information
Studio: Warner Brothers
Distributed By: Scream Factory
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English 1.0 DTS-HDMA (Mono)
Subtitles: English SDH
Rating: R
Run Time: 1 Hr. 57 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray
Case Type: Blue keep case with reversible cover and slipcover
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: A
Release Date: 09/25/2018
MSRP: $34.99

The Production: 2.5/5

Four years have passed since the events in The Exorcist, and Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) is trying to move on with her life. However, her path crosses with Father Philip Lamont (Richard Burton), a priest assigned by the Vatican to investigate the circumstances of the death of Father Merrin (Max von Sydow). Together, along with Regan’s psychiatrist (Louise Fletcher), they discover that Pazuzu hasn’t truly been vanquished and Regan is still at risk from the ancient demon. It’s a journey that goes from New York City to Africa and finally back to Washington D.C., where the old MacNeil House becomes the final battleground for Regan’s soul.

It’s hard to think of now, but Exorcist II: The Heretic actually had a lot going for it when it began production. Several members of the original cast (Linda Blair, Kitty Winn, Max von Sydow) were returning along with some new and distinguished talents (Richard Burton, Louise Fletcher, James Earl Jones) added to the cast. The script by William Goodhart was highly thought of by the cast when they signed on and director John Boorman was still a few years coming off of his breakthrough film, Deliverance (1972); then the trouble soon began to crop up. The script underwent no less than five revisions (on the part of Boorman and “creative associate” Rospo Pallenberg), cast and crew members were either sick (Boorman caught valley fever and was out of action for a month; Winn and Fletcher were dealing with gall bladder infections) or were consistently tardy to filming (Linda Blair), shooting locations initially chosen were unavailable or flat out denied were just some of the problems encountered during production. When it was released, the problems didn’t stop; after just one day the movie premiered, Boorman re-edited the film into a 110 minute version, and that’s the one most people saw in theaters. However, it was to no avail, because the movie had already received a reputation for being not just inferior to the first, but as one of the worst of all time. Despite all of this, the movie does have it fans – the most notable of them being Martin Scorsese.

While some of the criticism is indeed warranted, the movie’s got one thing going for it – it’s never dull. The main question of whether great good attracts great evil is clearly evident throughout, right from the shocking opening involving the death of a faith healer during an exorcism right up to the climax involving Father Lamont struggling with not only his faith, but with the evil doppleganger of Regan. The astonishing production design by Richard Macdonald and camerawork of the distinguished William A. Fraker lends a unique visual style that can be mystical – if you look at it the right way. Finally, Ennio Morricone’s score mixes eerie elements along with tribal and African styled chants; his “Regan’s Theme” can rank among some of the most beautiful and haunting works he’s done. All of this, plus a mixture of some scenes that are serious headscratchers or just enter flat out WTF territory (a tap dancing sequence intercut with the stoning of one of the characters ranks high on that scale in my book) make the movie interesting, to say the least.

The same varying quality can be applied to the performances. Linda Blair, reprising her role as Regan, has a bubbly and effervescent screen presence that does clash with the tone of the movie but it doesn’t make her any less sympathetic. Richard Burton, in one of his more flamboyant performances, makes for an intriguing Father Lamont; whether he took the part in order to secure financing for Equus (1977) – as he claimed in one interview – or did it for the money to help pay for his divorce, it’s clear that this one of his lower moments as an actor but no less interesting either. As the psychiatrist Dr. Gene Tuskin, Louise Fletcher appears like she’s walking through much of the movie in a trance – quite a change from her compelling (and Oscar-winning) performance in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975). Max von Sydow returns as Father Merrin, mostly appearing in flashback in what appears to be an extended cameo appearance. Kitty Winn has more screen time, but is mostly wasted in a thankless return as Sharon Spencer, now as Regan’s paid companion. James Earl Jones makes the most of his brief appearance as Kokumo as an adult – his scene appearing in a locust costume is another strange momemt in an already crazy film. In his final feature film appearance, Paul Henreid is basically a ‘guest star’ as the cardinal who assigns Father Lamont to investigate Father Merrin’s death. Other notable appearances include Ned Beatty as the plane pilot who takes Father Lamont deeper into Africa to find Kokumo, Rose Portillo in a memorable opening spot as the young healer possessed by Pazuzu, and an uncredited Dana Plato (of Diff’rent Strokes fame) as the autistic girl at the psychiatric institute who provides the film with, probably, the most memorably nuts moment.

Video: 4/5

3D Rating: NA

Presented in its original 1:85:1 aspect ratio, the original 117 minute cut of the movie was taken from a brand new 2K scan of the original film elements. Grain is film like and sturdy, with strong, crushed blacks, even skin tones, fine details present and strong colors, with only slight variances during some scenes employing optical effects. Minimal instances of print damage, scratches, dirt, dust, and other artifacts. This presentation now bests the previous Warner Blu-ray as the best the film has looked on home video.

Audio: 4/5

The original mono soundtrack is presented on a DTS-HD Master Audio track. Dialogue is clear throughout, with strong fidelity and ambiance to sound effects and Ennio Morricone’s score without being too overpowering. Again, an improvement over the Warner Blu-ray in terms of presentation on home video.

Special Features: 4/5

Alternate 102 minute International Cut – Although it’s listed on the second separate disc as the “original home video cut”, this is the International Cut of the movie. In addition to the reworked opening scenes, which are narrated by Richard Burton, this version also has some scenes trimmed, reordered, or have alternate takes used, with some music altered as well. Also, the ending is changed, which in turn alters the fate of Father Lamont from the original cut. This version is a little more coherent than the 117 minute version, but that’s just my opinion.

Commentary with director John Boorman – Featured on the first disc and newly recorded for this release, the director explains his involvement with the movie as well as some personal insights about the material. He does pause from time to time, but this is overall an entertaining track to listen to.

Commentary with Scott Michael Bosco – Also featured on the first disc, the special project consultant shares some information as well as his personal involvement with the movie. It’s probably the weaker of the three commentaries, but it’s not without some interesting facts; my favorite: I didn’t even know there were only a very small number of prints made of the original cut of the movie!

Commentary with Mike White – Featured on the International Cut of the movie, The Projection Booth Blog writer really delves deep into the troubled production of the movie in this track. It’s easily the most informative and insightful commentary of the three.

What Does She Remember? – An Interview with Linda Blair (19:16) – In this newly recorded interview, the actress shares some memories about the production as well as some feelings about it. Featured on the first disc.

An Interview with editor Tom Priestley (6:57) – In this brief, newly recorded interview, the film editor of the movie – who replaced the original editor John Merritt during production – shares his memories of working on the film. Also featured on the first disc.

Original Theatrical Trailer (1:58) – Found on the second disc.

Original Teaser Trailer (1:19) – Found on the second disc.

Still Galleries – Five different still galleries of photos taken from, during and about the movie: there’s the black and white production stills (126 photos at 10:32), color stills (53 photos at 4:34), some stills taken from a scene deleted from the movie (4 photos at 26 seconds), behind the scenes stills (52 photos at 4:25), and the poster and lobby card stills (95 photos at 8:03). Some of these stills were provided by Brett Cameron and Scott Michael Bosco. All of this can be found on the second disc.

Overall: 3.5/5

Exorcist II: The Heretic was, and still is, a polarizing movie in the movie franchise; most won’t think too highly of it while some may find some value in it – I tend to find myself in the latter camp. Scream Factory has done a great job of producing a mostly comprehensive Collector’s Edition of the movie, which will be bound to provoke new feeling of derision or praise, depending on how you view the material. If you’re one of those who find value in it, this edition is worth getting for the special features alone and can retire the old Warner Blu-ray because this is probably the best the film has looked on home video.

http://www.amazon.com/Exorcist-II-Heretic-Linda-Blair/dp/B07DMHXFHL/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1539022252&sr=1-1&keywords=exorcist+2+the+heretic+blu+ray

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32 Comments

  1. Thank you for writing this review! I've always found this film and the history of it to be rather fascinating. Probably mainly because I am a huge John Boorman fan. I think this guy was an incredible filmmaker but this film obviously got away from him and had a variety of issues. Still, it is gorgeous to look at and like most of Boorman's work jam packed with ideas.

    The first thing I always think of when this picture comes up is that Warner Brothers offered The Exorcist to Boorman prior to offering to Friedkin. Boorman turned it down because he found the script for The Exorcist repulsive and told Warner not to make it because it was two hours of torturing a child. Boorman hated The Exorcist and walked away from it.

    So, it is kind of hilarious and ridiculous that they came back to him to ask him to direct the sequel. Initially the sequel was meant to be just a bunch of rehashing stuff from the first film and even using stuff that Friedkin had shot and not used to cobble together some sort of follow-up. Then this idea was scraped and they actually gave the entire thing to Boorman, the guy that hated original film, and let him create the sequel.

    While he was doing this Stanley Kubrick told him that the only thing that would succeed as a sequel to the first film, which you have to realize was a daunting task because the first film had been huge, would be to turn up all the nastiness to an even higher level. Boorman told Kubrick he could not do that and he would need to go his own way with it…he said he wanted to create a riposte to the first film. In other words he wanted to create light in response to the other film's darkness.

    This is why in The Heretic (which was also Boorman's title for the picture he did not want "exorcist" in the title) Regan is all sweet and nice and the embodiment of goodness. She is literally supposed to be the opposite of what we saw in The Exorcist. It does play sort of odd in the finished film and to me it seemed so overdone Blair's performance became cloying.

    The wheels did come off this production before it ever got off the ground though and they were furiously rewriting things right from the start. The first big blow came when Lee J. Cobb, who was meant to reprise his role as Lt. Kinderman, died just about a week before shooting began. He had a major part in the film and rather than recast they wrote him out and expanded the roles of other characters. This also changed the entire story.

    It is also interesting that Father Lamont was meant to be a much younger character. Boorman had originally wanted Jon Voight to play him and then when Voight could not be had he went to Christopher Walken but Warner Brothers wanted a big name in the part and so they ended up with Richard Burton. All of this also changed the story and changed the dynamic between the characters.

    This film was actually meant to be Warner Brother's biggest picture of 1977 and they set it for a June release which they insisted Boorman make. It had what was at the time a whopping $20 million budget and they thought or hoped that it would be huge…of course the rest is history but the film nearly destroyed John Boorman.

    I would not call this a good film by any stretch but it is interesting and beautiful to look at. Weirdly, Martin Scorsese likes this film more than The Exorcist…I am guessing he has his reasons for this.

    I have not watched this in some time but I will watch it before the end of the month as part of my Halloween viewing. I am also going to watch another 2 this month that was a follow-up to a game changing horror film and that also flopped and was excoriated by both fans and critics…The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 which I have not seen since it was in the cinema back in 1986. This film also took things in a totally different direction than the much loved first picture which always seems to be something that fans and critics struggle with.

    I doubt either of these pictures will get better this time around but I am curious to look at them again with fresh eyes.

  2. Reggie W

    I have not watched this in some time but I will watch it before the end of the month as part of my Halloween viewing. I am also going to watch another 2 this month that was a follow-up to a game changing horror film and that also flopped and was excoriated by both fans and critics…The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 which I have not seen since it was in the cinema back in 1986. This film also took things in a totally different direction than the much loved first picture which always seems to be something that fans and critics struggle with.

    I doubt either of these pictures will get better this time around but I am curious to look at them again with fresh eyes.

    The Exorcist II is lousy (though the behind the scenes stuff is certainly interesting) but TCM2 was going for black comedy and works pretty well.

  3. TravisR

    The Exorcist II is lousy (though the behind the scenes stuff is certainly interesting) but TCM2 was going for black comedy and works pretty well.

    Yes, when I saw that Scream Factory was doing a special edition of this I thought "Really?" because I mean I have never known people to have liked the film. I have actually seen it several times because it has this weird effect on me where when I happen to start watching I can't stop. I mean I don't much like the acting by the leads in the film at all. The story is a giant mess. The film is often unintentionally hilarious.

    I have no idea how or why Scorsese likes this more than The Exorcist…which no matter what you think of the content of the story is a very tight, wonderfully acted, wonderfully written, and fantastically conceived work. Apparently The Heretic has it's fans and counts Scorsese as one of them.

    With Tobe Hooper's follow-up for Texas Chainsaw Massacre I remember going to this film with a bunch of friends. We were all excited to see it and see what it would be like. I think we expected a bigger film with a bigger budget and hell, even Dennis Hopper was along for the ride as the guy hunting down this bizarre cannibal family.

    We all walked out of the theater that night thinking that Hooper must have somehow hated the first film and this was his revenge on it becoming so popular. I recall several of my friends saying over and over it was the "worst movie I have ever seen" and for years whenever bad films would come up this one would immediately be mentioned.

    So, I never attempted to watch it again. Now, this month…I will go back to it knowing that Hooper jammed the film with goofball comedy and intentional satire and see if it hits me in a different way. I know that this film also has it's fans and also is thought of by some as a misunderstood gem. Not sure I will get to that point but I will go in with an open mind.

    I recall back in the 1980s horror sequels were thought of as wildly hit or miss. Heck, I remember seeing Halloween 3 with friends and the absolute fury of people coming out of the cinema and yelling "Where's Michael?" during the picture. I actually liked Halloween 3 and thought it was a brilliant idea. Hey, everybody is a critic, right?

  4. Reggie W

    I recall back in the 1980s horror sequels were thought of as wildly hit or miss. Heck, I remember seeing Halloween 3 with friends and the absolute fury of people coming out of the cinema and yelling "Where's Michael?" during the picture. I actually liked Halloween 3 and thought it was a brilliant idea. Hey, everybody is a critic, right?

    I think that, in retrospect, Halloween 3 has grown in popularity over the years once the furor died down and Michael came back in Halloween 4. I always really enjoyed it as a gonzo paranoia flick with campy performances and a nasty streak of black humor throughout. I remember buying the Don Post skull mask featured in the film when I visited Disney World the year after it came out. I was so jazzed to have a "Halloween 3" mask. I was an odd child.

    Exorcist II, which I just rewatched for the first time in years about a week ago, is still a mess. It has some interesting ideas and some great Boorman visuals, but the plot doesn't really hold together and, to be honest, the middle part of the film is a slog to get through. It's one of those films that I return to every few years because it has enough in it to make it worth watching, but I'll never consider it a successful film.

  5. Brian Kidd

    I think that, in retrospect, Halloween 3 has grown in popularity over the years once the furor died down and Michael came back in Halloween 4.

    I do think that in many cases like this people go into a sequel expecting it to be much like the first film…or first couple of films…and if the film is something different that is a major issue for the audience. I think today with the focus on sequels they do specifically and intentionally try to rehash whatever was in the previous film or films to deliver exactly what an audience expects.

    So, films like The Heretic, TCM2, or Halloween 3 would never get made today. They would be shot down at once for moving in unwanted and "risky" directions. I think many people would say for the better. I like that they exist though and I think the idea of not just rehashing the first film is a good idea.

    Revisiting these films knowing what they are and what they were attempting to do with the understanding in place that they are not much like the earlier films…well…maybe people can find some sort of appreciation for them and what the filmmakers were attempting.

  6. Reggie W

    I do think that in many cases like this people go into a sequel expecting it to be much like the first film…or first couple of films…and if the film is something different that is a major issue for the audience. I think today with the focus on sequels they do specifically and intentionally try to rehash whatever was in the previous film or films to deliver exactly what an audience expects.

    So, films like The Heretic, TCM2, or Halloween 3 would never get made today. They would be shot down at once for moving in unwanted and "risky" directions. I think many people would say for the better. I like that they exist though and I think the idea of not just rehashing the first film is a good idea.

    Revisiting these films knowing what they are and what they were attempting to do with the understanding in place that they are not much like the earlier films…well…maybe people can find some sort of appreciation for them and what the filmmakers were attempting.

    But you can't blame the audience for their angry and hatred of the film at the time (or now). When a movie is name "Halloween 3" you would 100% expect to see a continuation of the series with Michael in it. Instead it's a TOTALLY different movie that had zero to do with the Michael story line. Not even in the tiniest of ways. So yeah, people had every right to be vocal about their hatred of it.

  7. JQuintana

    But you can't blame the audience for their angry and hatred of the film at the time (or now). When a movie is name "Halloween 3" you would 100% expect to see a continuation of the series with Michael in it. Instead it's a TOTALLY different movie that had zero to do with the Michael story line. Not even in the tiniest of ways. So yeah, people had every right to be vocal about their hatred of it.

    I recall that the way people put it at the time Halloween 3 came out was "You don't make a Jaws movie with no shark!"

    So, I know what you mean. My feeling was they had played out the Michael Myers arc in the first two films. I thought Carpenter's idea to then turn the Halloween series into a totally different film set at Halloween each year was fantastic.

    I mean they did bring Michael back for the future entries and he is back again this year…but I think pretty much most of the entries were bad to horrible. That's just one man's opinion of course.

  8. I still want to know what the heck the ending was all about of the sequel where some mysterious dude in a cowboy outfit freed Michael from jail at the very end of the movie, just as credits were about to roll. That one was a true "WTF" moment in the series.

  9. JQuintana

    I still want to know what the heck the ending was all about of the sequel where some mysterious dude in a cowboy outfit freed Michael from jail at the very end of the movie, just as credits were about to roll. That one was a true "WTF" moment in the series.

    That was the end of Part 5. Didn't they address that in Part 6 (Curse of Michael Myers)? Maybe the Producer's Cut version, more so than the theatrical release.

  10. Reggie W

    So, films like The Heretic, TCM2, or Halloween 3 would never get made today. They would be shot down at once for moving in unwanted and "risky" directions.

    I think in the case of Halloween III, the opposite is true and an annual Halloween scary movie could actually work today. A number of TV shows today do a similar thing of telling one story each season and changing it up the next so the audience might be more willing to accept it today.

    Reggie W

    I mean they did bring Michael back for the future entries and he is back again this year…but I think pretty much most of the entries were bad to horrible. That's just one man's opinion of course.

    After Carpenter left the series, Halloween 4 is the one reasonably decent movie. The rest range from bad to terrible to so-bad-they're-interesting.

  11. Reggie W

    I recall that the way people put it at the time Halloween 3 came out was "You don't make a Jaws movie with no shark!"

    The problem was, if they wanted to have a "Halloween" franchise with different stories, they should have started with Halloween II. By having the second film as a continuation of the first, they set the pattern, so audiences expected another continuation with Part III. If they'd used the story for "Season of the Witch" as Halloween II, it might have worked.

    They're sort of doing this now with the core of the Conjuring series (excluding the spinoffs). Each film is following a different "case" of the Warrens, with the Warrens themselves as the only real link between the films.

  12. Ellen Burstyn was the best thing in The Exorcist and without her it doesn’t make sense and was doomed from the get go.
    Kind of like let’s make Roseanne without Ms Barr?

  13. JQuintana

    But you can't blame the audience for their angry and hatred of the film at the time (or now). When a movie is name "Halloween 3" you would 100% expect to see a continuation of the series with Michael in it. Instead it's a TOTALLY different movie that had zero to do with the Michael story line. Not even in the tiniest of ways. So yeah, people had every right to be vocal about their hatred of it.

    Didn’t any of those people see the trailers for HIII and notice there was no Michael or even a mention of Michael. Not did it have JLC or Pleasence. Shouldn’t that have put of some flags? Before the SE Blu came out for HIII I was always ultra curious of what the trailer was. I wanted to know what fooled people into thinking it was another MM movie.

  14. TravisR

    After Carpenter left the series, Halloween 4 is the one reasonably decent movie. The rest range from bad to terrible to so-bad-they're-interesting.

    Agreed. H4 has enough positives to put it in good standing (if only they had a better mask. But at least they remembered you’re not supposed to see Michael’s eyes through the mask). The rest of them you can keep (yes even H20)

  15. So, I thought I would throw this into the mix because I mentioned it above. Here is Martin Scorsese on The Heretic:

    Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977, John Boorman). Again, we're dealing with metaphysics. The picture asks: Does great goodness bring upon itself great evil? This goes back to the Book of Job; it's God testing the good. In this sense, Regan (Linda Blair) is a modern-day saint — like Ingrid Bergman in Europa '51, and, in a way, like Charlie in Mean Streets. I like the first Exorcist, because of the Catholic guilt I have, and because it scared the hell out of me; but The Heretic surpasses it. Maybe Boorman failed to execute the material, but the movie still deserved better than it got.

  16. Reggie W

    Thank you for writing this review! I've always found this film and the history of it to be rather fascinating. Probably mainly because I am a huge John Boorman fan. I think this guy was an incredible filmmaker but this film obviously got away from him and had a variety of issues. Still, it is gorgeous to look at and like most of Boorman's work jam packed with ideas.

    The first thing I always think of when this picture comes up is that Warner Brothers offered The Exorcist to Boorman prior to offering it to Friedkin. Boorman turned it down because he found the script for The Exorcist repulsive and told Warner not to make it because it was two hours of torturing a child. Boorman hated The Exorcist and walked away from it.

    So, it is kind of hilarious and ridiculous that they came back to him to ask him to direct the sequel. Initially the sequel was meant to be just a bunch of rehashing stuff from the first film and even using stuff that Friedkin had shot and not used to cobble together some sort of follow-up. Then this idea was scraped and they actually gave the entire thing to Boorman, the guy that hated the original film, and let him create the sequel.

    While he was doing this Stanley Kubrick told him that the only thing that would succeed as a sequel to the first film, which you have to realize was a daunting task because the first film had been huge, would be to turn up all the nastiness to an even higher level. Boorman told Kubrick he could not do that and he would need to go his own way with it…he said he wanted to create a riposte to the first film. In other words he wanted to create light in response to the other film's darkness.

    <SNIP>

    I would not call this a good film by any stretch but it is interesting and beautiful to look at. Weirdly, Martin Scorsese likes this film more than The Exorcist…I am guessing he has his reasons for this.

    I'm with Scorsese on this one, chiefly for the reason outlined by Boorman that I bolded in the paragraph above the Scorsese reference. I was never that big a fan of the first film, even though I did see it twice in theaters, but I loved the second film and even wrote a letter to Variety defending the film after the ending was brutally butchered during the film's first week in theaters in New York. And they published the letter! I've seen it a few times since, a couple of times on TV and then on VHS, and I was moved by it those times, so I'd love to see this Blu-ray. I used to be on a whole "new age" kick and the film spoke to that part of me that responded to that movement. I'm less enamored of that whole philosophy now, but I still like the movie. On the other hand, I haven't seen THE EXORCIST since the second theatrical screening sometime in 1974.

  17. TravisR

    I think in the case of Halloween III, the opposite is true and an annual Halloween scary movie could actually work today. A number of TV shows today do a similar thing of telling one story each season and changing it up the next so the audience might be more willing to accept it today.

    Today with "franchise films and sequels" I think that the goal is not to have them stray from whatever formula they feel made the earlier pictures work. So, I am not so sure that today they would accept a shift away from Micheal Meyers to an evil Irish mask maker.

    I think you are right that we see some of this with TV shows but I think they take far more risks with TV these days than they do with movies. Basically with TV and all the streaming stuff they actually do seem to be pursuing new ideas to create new content. With movies they seem to only want to recycle content…unless you get an Amazon or Netflix backing you then again they seem interested in original content…literally filling the space vacated by motion pictures.

    I know this frustrates a guy like Tarantino because he loves cinema but the push is to take great original filmmakers (Scorsese, the Coens, Paul Thomas Anderson) out of cinemas and shift their work to streaming services. Those guys make GREAT films but they are not pulling the "half a billion" they want out of a film that theater owners want to occupy their screens with.

    I mean I think this new Michael Meyers Halloween film looks like it is well made and well thought out so it very well may be entertaining but…I also think "Jesus, how many times are you going to rehash this story?" because it was played out by the second film and this film looks like all they are trying to do is make this Halloween II 40 years later…and seriously the idea of an elderly Michael Meyers stalking an elderly Laurie Strode is a bit ridiculous. I mean what is the sequel to this? Laurie and Michael end up in the same nursing home and there is a slow motion wheelchair chase through the halls set to Carpenter's theme?

    I know there are people that really hate The Heretic, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, and Halloween III but these films…even if they did not quite work in some cases or meet expectations did show some serious imagination and creativity. I have to say NOBODY likely would have come up with what we see in The Heretic other than John Boorman.

    So, I think you are correct that Netflix might buy a series of Halloween films that feature different stories each year but the motion picture people want Mike Meyers over and over and over again.

  18. Reggie W

    Today with "franchise films and sequels" I think that the goal is not to have them stray from whatever formula they feel made the earlier pictures work. So, I am not so sure that today they would accept a shift away from Micheal Meyers to an evil Irish mask maker.

    After 40 years of Michael being the face of that series, you're probably right but I think if Halloween had been made in the last few years, they might have been able to transition to a series of different scary movies each year.

    I think you are right that we see some of this with TV shows but I think they take far more risks with TV these days than they do with movies. Basically with TV and all the streaming stuff they actually do seem to be pursuing new ideas to create new content. With movies they seem to only want to recycle content…unless you get an Amazon or Netflix backing you then again they seem interested in original content…literally filling the space vacated by motion pictures.

    Unfortunately, I can't argue with that.

  19. Reggie W

    Today with "franchise films and sequels" I think that the goal is not to have them stray from whatever formula they feel made the earlier pictures work. So, I am not so sure that today they would accept a shift away from Micheal Meyers to an evil Irish mask maker.

    After 40 years of Michael being the face of that series, you're probably right but I think if Halloween had been made in the last few years, they might have been able to transition to a series of different scary movies each year.

    I think you are right that we see some of this with TV shows but I think they take far more risks with TV these days than they do with movies. Basically with TV and all the streaming stuff they actually do seem to be pursuing new ideas to create new content. With movies they seem to only want to recycle content…unless you get an Amazon or Netflix backing you then again they seem interested in original content…literally filling the space vacated by motion pictures.

    Unfortunately, I can't argue with that.

  20. Malcolm R

    The problem was, if they wanted to have a "Halloween" franchise with different stories, they should have started with Halloween II. By having the second film as a continuation of the first, they set the pattern, so audiences expected another continuation with Part III. If they'd used the story for "Season of the Witch" as Halloween II, it might have worked.

    They're sort of doing this now with the core of the Conjuring series (excluding the spinoffs). Each film is following a different "case" of the Warrens, with the Warrens themselves as the only real link between the films.

    I think The Conjuring idea of covering different cases from the Warrens is interesting and a good one. Funny that they are stuck calling all of the films in the main series The Conjuring as a better name for the series would be something like The Warren Files…but maybe that's more a TV name. I have not watched any of the Annabelle or The Nun spinoffs but they seem to want to keep rolling with those as well.

    I think it is always kind of interesting how they approach a sequel or in today's terms it seems "building a universe" which seems to mean they will make as many films as possible that relate to just about anything in a previous film.

    I thought the shift to Irish mask maker after two Micheal Myers films was perfect timing to shift away from the whole Haddonfield side of Mike's stalk and kill yarn. But hey, who am I to say?

  21. Reggie W

    Funny that they are stuck calling all of the films in the main series The Conjuring as a better name for the series would be something like The Warren Files…but maybe that's more a TV name

    The Warren Files was listed a working title for the film prior to release.

  22. Malcolm R

    The Warren Files was listed a working title for the film prior to release.

    Ha, they probably felt like The Warren Files would make people think it was a film about an accountant or tax collector!

  23. noel aguirre

    Ellen Burstyn was the best thing in The Exorcist and without her it doesn’t make sense and was doomed from the get go.

    I believe that Burstyn was asked and either was not available or turned it down. I do think Burstyn would have been better to have in a sequel to The Exorcist than Linda Blair…who honestly could have been left out of a sequel entirely or had a minor part.

    In truth the actual sequel to The Exorcist is Blatty's film wrongly titled Exorcist III…it should be called Legion. It may be the third in the series of films but it is actually the follow-up to The Exorcist.

  24. Reggie W

    In truth the actual sequel to The Exorcist is Blatty's film wrongly titled Exorcist III…it should be called Legion. It may be the third in the series of films but it is actually the follow-up to The Exorcist.

    Oh really? I thought Exorcist II was actually called "The Ninth Configuration". 😉

  25. Lord Dalek

    Oh really? I thought Exorcist II was actually called "The Ninth Configuration". 😉

    Well, yes the astronaut in The Ninth Configuration is meant to be the one Regan says “You’re gonna die up there.” to…so I think the proper way to put it in today’s terms is “It’s in the same universe.” :laugh:

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