Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
YMMV: The Exorcist
The Exorcist
  • Adaptation Displacement: Not many people are aware that there was a novel first.
  • Award Snub: Oddly, the actor with the most face time was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
  • Awesome Music: The perennially-creepy Tubular Bells, courtesy of Mike Oldfield.
  • Complete Monster: The foul-mouthed demon Pazuzu was the evil spirit that possessed Regan MacNeil in the film. He used her to commit his evil deeds such as lashing out at others and shouting obscenities such as the (in)famous Your Mom quote. When faced with the Catholic priests Merrin and Karras, he mockingly encouraged them to try to remove his influence from Regan. When Merrin was left in the room with the possessed girl, he has a heart attack, which was believed to have been caused by Pazuzu himself. This left Karras alone to fight the demon. When he successfully removed Pazuzu from Regan, Pazuzu immediately went into him and tried to force Karras to kill Regan since she was of no further use to him. Pazuzu is called the most frightening creature in a horror film for a reason.
  • Contractual Purity: The inverse happened to Linda Blair when she tried to break into romantic comedies.
  • Fridge Horror: The spider-walk scene in the book is less terrifying at first than completely, inhumanly alien. Blatty's description doesn't sink in for a minute. Then it hits you.
  • Hype Aversion: The cover art declares it to be "The Scariest Movie Ever Made." That can definitely turn people away or lead to disappointed viewers.
  • Moral Event Horizon: If Pazuzu's possesion of Regan wasn't bad enough, when he posseses Karras at the end, he immediately moves forward to KILL Regan since he doesn't need her anymore. Bastard!
    • There's also the fact that in the third film, he convinced the spirit of the late Gemini Killer to possess Karras's body and was responsible for countless human deaths that Gemini Killer caused when he took Karras's body.
  • Memetic Mutation: Ever saw a screamer? If yes, there's a 99% chance demon-possessed Regan jumped in your face at least once.
    • Or an image of Captain Howdy.
  • Narm: Most people find it scary, but quite a few find it downright hilarious mostly due to just how over the top it gets: a good example would be the restored spider-walk scene.
    • The silver medal in that department has to be the "The power of Christ compels you!!" scene.
    • Some feel that the possessed Regan's voice has aged badly, since nowadays the voice of a Creepy Child often seems creepier than something inhuman. A good number of the comments to this video are saying that they find Linda Blair's real voice creepier than the dub.
    • The pea soup vomit.
    • Burstyn's overwrought screaming and general overacting whenever she's confronting the demon.
  • Nausea Fuel: Most people were physically ill and fled theaters during the medical scenes, especially the spinal tap.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The Exorcist in 5 Seconds
    • Some find the effects work a bit outdated.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Considering how much further effects have come, and how more subtle and subdued later films would take the premise, the film has this effect to some modern-day viewers.
  • Squick
  • Tear Jerker: "Why you do this to me, Dimmy?"
    • When Regan is finally out of it. It was like she woke up from a bad dream and not remembering what it was, but knowing how terrible it is. She is alone, scared and calling for her mother.
    • When Father Dyer has to give his dying friend Karras the last rites. He can't even speak the latin without tearing up.

Exorcist II: The Heretic

Exorcist III

Exorcist: The Beginning
  • Foe Yay: The demon making Sarah strip in front of Merrin comes across as this. The line doesn't help either.
    Pazuzu: What's the matter, don't you wanna fuck me anymore?
  • Nausea Fuel: The decaying stillborn baby.
  • Sequelitis: It received negative reviews on the box office and that the movie feels more like a splatter horror than a psychological horror.

Dominion: The Prequel to The Exorcist

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy