Anyone who has watched The Exorcist knows how incredibly impactful the movie is as a piece of horror filmmaking.
The 1973 film, directed by William Friedkin, is an iconic piece of cinema history which garnered 10 Oscar nominations and two wins.
By today’s standards, the film may well not be the most visually shocking, but fans of cinema and the occult all cite the film as one of the best examples of horror films transcending their basic source material.
At the time of the film’s release though, there was such hype surrounding the production that many people said the film itself was cursed, and linking it to insanity.
This was almost certainly part of the marketing campaign from the production company, but the cultural resonance the film generated is perhaps unmatched by most other horrors.
But a new piece of the film’s history has surfaced, which reveals the limits of how far the folks at Warner Brothers were willing to go to advertise the film.
A previously unreleased trailer has resurfaced, and the director of The Exorcist has called it the best trailer which was ever created for the flick.
He also revealed on Twitter that the film was withheld from release because Warner’s were concerned that the trailer was too scary for film audiences back then.
Check out the trailer here:
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It’s hard to see now why this film would’ve been too scary for people, but bare in mind horror was a completely different genre back then. The most notable examples of prestige horror were Psycho and Rosemary’s Baby.
The film’s religious themes also deeply unsettled people, and the mysteriously troubled production were enough, and this trailer would’ve probably put so many people off the film that it would’ve made no money.
If you didn’t know, the film suffered a deeply difficult production, during which nine people died, Ellen Burstyn also suffered a permanent spinal injury and a mysterious fire destroyed the set.
— Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) March 25, 2018
Most notable deaths include actors Jack MacGowran and Vasiliki Maliaros, who died before the film was released.
Some people have even claimed that the original reels of the film itself are home to an actual demon, with some even claiming this is where the subliminal demon shots arise from in the film.
All this hype resulted in an unprecedented box office take for The Exorcist, which was the most successful horror film of all time, until Stephen King’s IT took over last year.
This was created by Bud Smith, the film’s editor.
It’s the best trailer ever made about The Exorcist.
Warner’s was scared that it would be too disturbing
— William Friedkin (@WilliamFriedkin) March 25, 2018
The Andy Muschietti directed adaption of Stephen King’s 1986 novel captured the imaginations of audiences across the globe, with Bill Skarsgård climbing into the terrifying clown cozzie bringing thrilling malice to a new generation.
Personally, we think The Exorcist is up there with the best horrors of all time, perhaps only being pipped at the post by Halloween, but that’s just us.