How Scary Is the Movie the Exorcist?

If you’re a fan of horror movies, you’ve probably heard of The Exorcist. This classic film has been terrifying audiences since its release in 1973.

But just how scary is it? Let’s take a closer look at what makes The Exorcist such a spine-tingling experience.

The Story

The Exorcist tells the story of a young girl named Regan who becomes possessed by a demon. Her mother seeks the help of two priests, Father Karras and Father Merrin, to perform an exorcism and save her daughter’s life.

The Atmosphere

One of the most effective things about The Exorcist is its atmosphere. From the opening shots of an ancient statue in Iraq to the dark and foreboding interiors of Regan’s home, the film creates a sense of dread that never lets up.

The lighting is often dim and shadowy, which makes even simple scenes feel ominous. The sound design also plays a crucial role in building tension. Strange noises, voices that seem to come from nowhere, and eerie music all contribute to the sense that something terrible is about to happen.

The Performances

Another reason why The Exorcist is so effective is its strong performances. Linda Blair as Regan delivers a performance that is both innocent and horrifying as she transforms into something beyond her control.

Likewise, Max von Sydow as Father Merrin brings gravitas and authority to his role as an experienced exorcist. And Jason Miller as Father Karras conveys both doubt and determination as he struggles with his own faith while trying to save Regan.

The Horror

Of course, what really makes The Exorcist so scary is its depiction of demonic possession. From Regan’s physical transformation to her disturbing behavior (including projectile vomiting and self-harm), the film doesn’t shy away from depicting the horror of the situation.

But it’s not just the explicit moments that are frightening. The Exorcist also plays on our deepest fears and anxieties, such as losing control of our own bodies or being helpless in the face of an unseen force.


So, how scary is The Exorcist? The answer is: very.

Its combination of atmosphere, performances, and visceral horror make it a true classic of the genre. If you’re a horror fan and haven’t seen it yet, be prepared to be terrified. And if you have seen it, maybe it’s time for a rewatch – if you dare.

  • The Exorcist is a classic horror movie that has been scaring audiences since 1973.
  • The film creates a sense of dread through its atmosphere, lighting, and sound design.
  • The strong performances by Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, and Jason Miller add to its effectiveness.
  • The depiction of demonic possession is both explicit and disturbing.