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The Director of THE EXORCIST Made a Documentary About Exorcism

The Director of THE EXORCIST Made a Documentary About Exorcism

It’s become the stuff of cinema legend. The release of 1973’s The Exorcist was met with more than the usual horror movie screams and gasps, or even faiting; people were said to run screaming from the theater, and to have thrown up in their seats. Naturally, it’s still considered one of the most shocking movies in history. But it’s fiction, right? Well, author William Peter Blatty based the novel on an actual case, and the Catholic Church still keeps an exorcist on call. The idea of The Exorcist being in any way “real” is a terrifying one, and its director is tackling the subject in a new documentary.

William Friedkin’s The Devil and Father Amorth (as we discovered via TheMarySue) looks to go inside the phenomenon of demonic possession cases by witnessing a real one firsthand, performed by the Vatican’s longtime exorcist, Fr. Gabriele Amorth. Friedkin was present for the ninth attempt to exorcise a woman named Cristina. Friedkin also spoke to several members of the clergy and the medical field to get their takes on demonic possession, something that has been mostly laughed off for years.

Since the release of The Exorcist, Friedkin has had repeated conversations with people about the phenomenon, both believers and not, and it certainly seems like a filmmaker with a passion for the material is the right person to tackle it. Along with Friedkin, film critic and massive Exorcist fan and scholar Mark Kermode has written material for the film, which, according to IMDb, has a runtime of just under 70 minutes. While I don’t have any kind of belief in this kind of thing, I’m nevertheless fascinated about what might actually be the cause of such behavior. Hopefully the film will delve into that and not merely be sensationalist.

The Devil and Father Amorth is slated for release on April 20.

Image: Warner Bros.

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Twitter!

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