TV Club: The horror on The Exorcist works best when it’s not ambiguous

In 1973, part of the beauty of the original Exorcist and the William Peter Blatty novel it was adapted from was a shared ambiguity. If you went into either work blind, you weren’t sure until halfway through the story if preteen Regan MacNeil was actually possessed by a demon or not. Unfortunately, that’s all but impossible in 2016, a time when there isn’t just one Exorcist book and movie, but a string of sequels, several parodies, a stage adaptation, and even two different versions of the same prequel.

And that’s to say nothing of the original’s worldwide fame. Even without all the subsequent entries, most folks gearing up to read or watch The Exorcist already understand that, no, Regan’s disturbing behavior isn’t just the product of fatherly neglect, abuse from elsewhere, or emotional trauma; the poor girl’s body has indisputably been taken …

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