Gokseong, or The Wailing (2016) has been staring at me from my Netflix queue for the better part of two years. It came to my attention from correspondence with the academics behind the book Possessed Women, Haunted States: Cultural Tensions in Exorcism Cinema, who seek to catalogue every instance of an exorcism scene in a feature film. At 2.5 hours of running time, it was always daunting to start it, but it is worth the time.
October 13, 2017 – When I first stumbled onto the blog It’s Playing, But With Research, I was jealous. Jealous! With envy as green as the pea soup streaming out of Regan’s mouth! Academics CarrieLynn D. Reinhard and Christopher J. Olson not only studied exorcism cinema for a living, but they compiled a comprehensive list movies featuring an exorcism (the list is continually revised).
What?! Someone has watched more exorcism cinema than me?? Impossible – I wasn’t having it! So I went on a bender thanks to their list, and we began a correspondence that ended with me having a credit on their book Possessed Women, Haunted States. What a lovely honor. I urge you to read the book (which analyzes the tropes of exorcism cinema and puts them in sociological context), check out their blog and listen to their podcast, Pop Culture Lens. Continue reading
Perhaps not, but you’re fascinating and worthy of the Exorcist legacy. Continue reading
My first viewing of The Exorcist was at age twelve, which, coincidentally, was Regan McNeil’s age when her possession occurred.
My older sister told me the plot of the film, minus of course the really ugly shocking bits such as the crucifix rape scene. My sister was great at relating horror movie plots – she gave me a fascinating rundown of Halloween as well. And she’ll tell you she hates horror movies! I’m not even sure that she had seen it – she may have just been recounting what she heard from others who saw it. At that point it didn’t sound like something I couldn’t handle.
It’s been a rather possessed August. When personal misery overwhelms, a supernatural/horror obsession is something of an anodyne. Don’t ask me why.
I’ve been reviewing criticism of ‘The Exorcist’ and its sequels, reading interview after interview with William Peter Blatty, Linda Blair, William Friedkin and others involved in the most amazing and frightening film ever made.
And you know what? Many fine minds are weighing in – from this excellent podcast, to this academic who, to my delight, is providing analysis and criticism on the recent wave of exorcism themed films. I wrote a lot about this recent wave of films when this blog was on Open Salon.