Dominion: Exorzist – Der Anfang des Bösen (2005)

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Dominion: Exorzist – Der Anfang des Bösen: Directed by Paul Schrader. With Stellan Skarsgård, Gabriel Mann, Clara Bellar, Billy Crawford. Years before Father Lankester Merrin helped save Regan MacNeil’s soul, he first encounters the demon Pazuzu in East Africa. Merrin’s initial battle with Pazuzu leads to the rediscovery of his faith.

“Iu0026#39;m sure everyone by now knows the story of how Paul Schrader shot and cut his version of an u0026quot;Exorcistu0026quot; prequel and delivered it to Morgan Creek studios only to be told it was u0026quot;commercially unmarketableu0026quot; and fired from the project. Then they hired Renny Harlin, mostly known for action films, to come in and make his own bloodier, more visceral version that would appeal more to mass audiences.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eItu0026#39;s a shame that the studios today are all about the profit and not the quality. While Harlinu0026#39;s u0026quot;Exorcist: The Beginningu0026quot; may have appealed more to mass audiences (and by mass audiences Iu0026#39;m talking about those who canu0026#39;t handle an intelligent story that takes time to build and need blood and guts every 10 minutes), but Schraderu0026#39;s film is clearly the winner in terms of quality here.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis film is far more subtle than Harlinu0026#39;s in-your-face version. Until the end, there arenu0026#39;t even any real u0026quot;scaresu0026quot; to speak of. Donu0026#39;t get me wrong, the movie IS scary, just donu0026#39;t expect the cliché u0026quot;jump scaresu0026quot; that are accompanied by a loud jolt of music, or someone sneaking up behind somebody. The scares in this one come from a purely psychological angle as the film works to get under your skin, push your buttons, and unnerve you greatly.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis version is a much more mature effort that works through creating layered characters and a good story. Harlinu0026#39;s version was like a cheap, plastic knock off of the real thing.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eNow what exactly is different about the two films? Well most of the actors are the same, though the roles are altered just a tad. The sets are the same. The *basic* story is the same. The real differences come in concerning the possession victims. Harlinu0026#39;s theatrical version centered on a young village boy being the object of possession, treading a very familiar route weu0026#39;ve all seen before. Schraderu0026#39;s u0026quot;Exorcistu0026quot; takes a different route by turning the tables around: instead of the possession victim getting physically and mentally weakened as the demon takes over, the story focuses on Cheche, an afflicted young man that actually becomes better as the possession takes over his body. To watch Cheche miraculously heal from a surgery in a matter of days and see his strength and mental capabilities growing is truly unnerving. I found the character to be more interesting than even little Regan Macneil in the original movie.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe acting is about the same in terms of quality, though with Skarsgard giving a much subtler performance this time around.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAlas, the film is not without faults. There is some god-awful CGI thrown into the film (I canu0026#39;t decide if itu0026#39;s cheesiness was a result of the movie never being finished properly or if it was just that bad) and the ending feels somewhat anticlimactic. The showdown between Merrin and the demon is what this movie is all about, yet something about the entire sequence just doesnu0026#39;t sit well. Itu0026#39;s not u0026quot;bigu0026quot; enough. It doesnu0026#39;t have the weight it should considering it IS the main focus of the movie. And it all came a little too fast. The pacing of the film just doesnu0026#39;t sit quite well. By the time the shite hits the fan, weu0026#39;re almost at the end, and Merrin goes from disbeliever to Bible-thumping exorcist in way too short of a time period.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003ePerhaps more work could have been put into Merrinu0026#39;s character. The film is okay as it stands, but more work and a little more background would have been great.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eNo matter what though, this one is still loads better than that crapfest Harlin put out. A much creepier, less in-your-face, subtler film that gets under your skin and reaches you on a level not one of the sequels has done yet. Itu0026#39;s a shame the ADD-riddled audiences today canu0026#39;t handle a mature film like this.”


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