- The Exorcist’s Rotten Tomatoes score has dropped 6 points to 78% after the addition of 70 new reviews, including cataloged contemporary reviews from the 1970s.
- Despite the score decrease, the movie remains Certified Fresh.
- The Exorcist, released in 1973 and based on the novel by William Peter Blatty, was a huge success, becoming the highest-grossing movie of the year and winning two Oscars.
The Rotten Tomatoes score for the original The Exorcist has fallen. The movie, which premiered in 1973, was an adaptation of the William Peter Blatty novel of the same name and starred Ellen Burstyn as Chris MacNeil, who seeks the assistance of priest Father Karras (Jason Miller) when her daughter Regan (Linda Blair) begins to exhibit signs of demonic possession. The movie was a smash hit, becoming the highest-grossing movie of 1973 and going on to be nominated for 10 Oscars, winning two.
In honor of The Exorcist’s recent 4K restoration as well as this weekend’s The Exorcist: Believer release, which both come shortly before the 50th anniversary of the original movie, Rotten Tomatoes has added more than 70 new reviews to their log for The Exorcist. According to their update announcement, these new reviews also include cataloged contemporary reviews from the 1970s. As a result of this adjustment, the Rotten Tomatoes score for the movie has fallen 6 points, from 84% to 78%, though the movie remains Certified Fresh.
Where Are the Negative The Exorcist Reviews Coming From?
Despite this sudden, drop, the original The Exorcist remains the only movie in the entire Exorcist franchise to have a Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It is still a comfortable 20% higher than the next-highest entry, which is 1990’s The Exorcist III at 58%. Nevertheless, this new score is somewhat surprising for a movie that is still considered one of the scariest horror classics of all time.
An examination of the newly added reviews for the movie reveals that only 38 of the movie’s whopping 173 reviews are negative in the first place. One thing that the bulk of these new reviews have in common, whether they are current or archived reviews, is that the critic is generally reacting to the shock value of the movie, with some calling it “adolescent” and “morally corrupted.” This largely seems to be a reaction to the provocative depths of depravity to which the demon Pazuzu forces Regan to sink in its effort to challenge the faith of Father Karras.
Ultimately, the Rotten Tomatoes score can’t alter the longstanding reputation of the original The Exorcist. However, the most intriguing element of this new update is a reflection of further cultural context around the movie. Because of its intense and shocking subject matter, the movie has not been received with open arms by every audience. However, the intensity of revulsion that the movie invokes in some viewers is the exact reason that it has become such an iconic movie in the first place, as its reputation was originally built on the back of moviegoers falling ill while watching it.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes