08 September 2023

The Exorcist

The Exorcist

This month sees another theatrical rerelease of William Friedkin’s classic horror film The Exorcist, which returns to Thai cinemas on 28th September. (Strangely, not at Halloween.)

The film is being advertised as an ‘extended director’s cut’, though that label is rather misleading: at the request of the screenwriter, Friedkin reinstated some sequences he had previously left on the cutting-room floor, so it would be more accurate to call it an extended writer’s cut. Friedkin also took the opportunity to add subliminal CGI demon faces in several scenes, and made some tweaks to the soundtrack.

The extended cut, originally marketed as The Version You’ve Never Seen, was first shown in 2000. (In the UK at Halloween, even midnight screenings were sold out.) When this version was released on blu-ray in 2010, Friedkin removed two of the CGI demon faces. It’s the 2010 version that will be rereleased later this month.

The rerelease marks the film’s fiftieth anniversary, and is also part of Warner Bros. 100, as 2023 is the studio’s centenary. Casablanca and The Wizard of Oz were also rereleased earlier this year as part of Warner Bros. 100. The Exorcist has been shown in Bangkok several times before: at Cinema Winehouse in 2016 and 2018, at Scala in 2018, and at Bangkok Screening Room in 2019.