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The Exorcist (4K UHD) review

The Exorcist (4K UHD) review
« on: September 23, 2023, 12:32:44 PM »


Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: September 19, 2023
Rating: R
Film:  4/5

Plot
The Exorcist tells the now-famous story of a girl's demonic possession, and a gripping fight between good and evil. Linda Blair, in a breakout role, plays Regan, a young girl who starts to exhibit strange, arcane behavior. Her mother (Burstyn) calls upon a priest, Father Karras (Miller), to investigate. But Karras, who has a spiritual crisis of his own, is suddenly confronted with the unimaginable evil of Regan's possession. Father Lankester Merrin (Von Sydow), an archeologist-priest, is called to help, and a horrific battle for her soul begins.

My Thoughts
As longtime readers know, I’m not a fan of horror movies, but for some reason this film has never really fallen into that genre for me. It’s more of a drama and while there are certainly horror elements to it—a young girl is possessed by the devil—it seems to be more rooted in reality. Growing up Catholic, I empathize with Karras’ plight of questioning his faith and as a parent, see why the mother would do anything within her (or the church’s) power to save her daughter’s life. I chose to watch the theatrical version, but the set does contain an extended version (also in 4K).

Many say this is the scariest film of all time and was so scary at the time of its 1973 release that people ran screaming out of theaters and even causes some women to miscarry their children. Maybe audiences were a bit more naïve in those days or possibly people were more religious and seeing the devil possess a young kid was disturbing. Today, not so much.

The last time I watched this film was on Blu-ray and there were many complaints about the transfer because the color timing was changed from what people remembered. Things looked to be toned down here and Warner has done a phenomenal job of making a 50-year-old film look new again. Details are well-preserved and while it isn’t as razor-sharp as today’s digital productions, it still passes muster.

The Atmos track is the best the film has ever sounded (or at least as I’ve heard it) and while it’s mostly front-loaded, there are some great scenes that make use of the other speakers in the room. Let’s just say, the devil really knows how to possess the overhead speakers!

Video 9/10
Audio 9/10  (Dolby Atmos)

Special Features:

  • Introduction by William Friedkin (Theatrical)
  • Audio Commentary with William Friedkin (Theatrical + Extended)
  • Audio Commentary with William Peter Blatty with sound effects tests (Theatrical)
  • Legacy supplements available via streaming services via Digital Copy
  • Digital Copy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU2eYAO31Cc&ab_channel=WarnerBros.Entertainment


Conclusion
My only complaint about this release is the cover art, which is absolutely horrible and is arguably the worst cover I’ve seen in nearly 20 years of reviewing home video titles. The film itself is very good and still remains scary to this day, but not as scary as it once was to me. Maybe I’m jaded or I’ve seen the film enough times that it seems old-hat now. Regardless, this is the best the film has looked or sounded on home video and if you’re 4K capable, definitely pick it up.         


Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS3100 4K Ultra High-Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)
Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 110” 2.35:1 Screen
Trinnov Altitude 16 Audio/Video Processor
ATI AT527NC Powering Bed Channels
ATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers
Kaleidescape Strato + Server
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: URC MX-990
M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)
M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)
Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers
Dual Rythmik FV15HP2
Mini DSP HD controlling all subwoofers
Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner
« Last Edit: September 23, 2023, 12:34:49 PM by David Vaughn »
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

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Re: The Exorcist (4K UHD) review
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2023, 05:00:18 PM »
Ima. Chicken. And I never thought this was a scary movie. Hmmm
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Re: The Exorcist (4K UHD) review
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2023, 05:07:02 PM »
Good review, David.

I don't think I've ever watched the unedited version of this movie, just the TV version back when I was a kid.

Still enough to frighten me, so I'm going to check out this 4K version and watch it through an adult's eyes even if my wife refuses to watch it with me.

I agree with your comment of this being a drama with horror elements added to it.  If that interests you, I highly recommend watching Hereditary if you've never watched it.  Same thing applies to it, and it's far above the average horror movie in themes and depth.

Scott
My Room:  26’-1” X 17’-4” X 10’
Equipment:  Monolith HTP-1 feeding X7 and X9 amps, JVC RS3100, Elite Screens 135"", JBL Studio 590 for L, C, R, W, R, 580s for sides and four SCS8 for tops, JTR Captivator 1400 x 4, Panny DP-UB420K, Toshiba HD-A35. Nvidia Shield, Sonos Connect, MX-780 remote

See Youthman's actual tour of my room here: https://youtu.be/PHEaG2xKVhg

Re: The Exorcist (4K UHD) review
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2023, 07:04:52 PM »
Good review, David.

I don't think I've ever watched the unedited version of this movie, just the TV version back when I was a kid.

Still enough to frighten me, so I'm going to check out this 4K version and watch it through an adult's eyes even if my wife refuses to watch it with me.

I agree with your comment of this being a drama with horror elements added to it.  If that interests you, I highly recommend watching Hereditary if you've never watched it.  Same thing applies to it, and it's far above the average horror movie in themes and depth.

Scott
I'll have to check out Hereditary then. Thanks for the recommendation. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

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