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About AndrewB

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  1. As some of you may know, I'm just a pretty flippin' indifferent person. I get over problems in about 2 seconds and it takes something extraordinary to get me into any sort of excited state. You might compare me to Data from Star Trek TNG.

    I've heard some unsettling stories about people who have watched The Exorcist. Apparently lots of people actually vomit when they see the movie. I find it hard to believe that images on a screen and sound coming from speakers can do such a thing, but hey, I'm open minded. Well, not wanting to end my 13-year no-vomit streak, that adds an element of excitement to me watching the movie.

    If you yourself haven't seen The Exorcist before then you should find what I have to say quite interesting (don't worry, no real spoilers). After owning the movie on DVD for about 2 years, I find myself with lots of spare time on a Canada Day long weekend.

    So I start watching it at about 11PM tonight. I'm alone in my room, with my trilight bedlamp set to its lowest level. I've got a DVD player in my laptop, WinDVD 4, a SoundBlaster Audigy 2, and form-fitting earbuds (the kind that seal inside your ears). This is all highly significant. Basically nothing would amplify the effects of The Exorcist more than the setup I have in my room. (Two words: isolated, immersed)

    So I watch about 45 minutes of fairly enjoyable dialogue and drama (it's an enjoyable experience watching any movie on my laptop). Then we get to the "good" part. You know, the part where the doctor enters the girl's room and sees in-person what's actually happening to her. I haven't seen anything yet, but just the sound at this point is reminding me of nightmares I had years ago. I can feel muscles throughout my body tightening up and I can't seem to control it. Then a few seconds later I catch a glimpse of the girl's face, and wouldn't you know it, all of the sudden I find myself fighting off waves of nausea. It doesn't make any sense. Not wanting to end my streak, I turn myself around 180 and wait for the scene to pass, still hearing everything. This is barely effective, as the sounds I'm hearing are almost physically intolerable.

    At this point I'm just awestruck at the effect that scene had on me, and the pure primal terror I felt sink into my body for that few seconds. It's completely irrational and it makes no sense whatsoever. I wasn't even looking at the "good" part for more than maybe 1/2 a second.

    A few minutes later I get to the "next good" part. This is the part where the girl is "walking" downstairs in a very unconventional way. Again, I see (in the corner of my eye) only about the first 1/2 second of her coming down the stairs, and I feel my entire body tense up in complete tingly convulsions, the kind that I've only felt in nightmares or "night terrors." I turn away, rip the earphones off and shake away the feeling, again completely amazed at what I just experienced. Just like I would after a rare nightmare, I'm sitting there waiting for the senseless feeling of terror to leave my body, and I'm completely awake. Unbelievable.

    Whoever made this movie is, IMO, a genius with an incredible understanding of the human psyche. He identified the completely irrational images and sounds that gives us terror in our sleep, and he gives us the EXACT SAME sensations WHILE WE'RE AWAKE. That's the whole thing about The Exorcist. In theory it shouldn't be scary, as nothing "threatening" is actually happening. But that's the way nightmares are too! It allows people like me to experience the illogical effects of night terror on-demand, without having to wait for the 1 in every 500 nights that they actually occur.

    So it's 12:45 AM now, and I'm less than halfway through the movie, and I'm still deciding whether to keep watching. But in a way, I've already achieved what I wanted: I now understand how people could vomit from watching this movie, even though I didn't do so myself. If I do continue watching, I will be ready to bail out at any second.

    1. Show previous comments  9 more
    2. Bucket


      Richo Rosai said:

      Until this year I hadn't seen any of the Godfathers either. I was missing out on so many references in the Simpsons!

      Me too, except it was last year. I figured they were just full of dumb action. Little did I know there was great drama and interesting dialogue! I even like the third one.

    3. myk


      AndrewB said:
      In theory it shouldn't be scary, as nothing "threatening" is actually happening. But that's the way nightmares are too! It allows people like me to experience the illogical effects of night terror on-demand, without having to wait for the 1 in every 500 nights that they actually occur.

      Not really; if anything the movie lacks subtlety, and the girl even kills people and uses telekinesis on objects as a threatening action. I felt no nausea, though it did make me chuckle a few times; the desecration with boobs and cock at church, the vomited green slime, and the movie maker attacking the butler, accusing him of being a Nazi, among other overdone things that attempted to give substance to the film.

      I'd say this movie is one of the main ones to start the American horror-thriller gerne, which is pretty stiff or jaded as far as horror is concerned.

    4. Afterglow


      Psyonisis said:

      I dunno what's so disturbing about her going down the stairs like that, but every time I see it I get goosebumps.

      That scene was filmed going up the stairs, then played backward in the actual film. It's slightly unnatural due to the choppy, gravity-defying movements that make it subtly surreal. One of the few scenes from Hollywood that sent shivers down my spine.