Nearly 4 and a half decades after its release, The Exorcist (directed by William Friedkin from the novel by William Peter Blatty) is still widely considered the most terrifying movie ever made. Part of the film’s appeal is the complex imagery it provides, including subliminal sounds and faces. Even today, fans of the film are discovering hidden content and mysterious connections that add to its overall sense of horror and dread.
Film critic and academic Rob Ager has assembled the video below: 6 Creepy Things Hidden in The Exorcist! It’s a must-watch for fans of the seminal religious horror movie as well as cinephile interested in experimental film techniques. Give it a spin and let us know what you think in the Comments section!
If you can’t stream, the 6 creepy things hidden in The Exorcist are listed and briefly summarized below the video. After that, you can peep the trailer and synopsis for the original Exorcist, released in 1973. Enjoy!
The Location-Jumping Crucifix: Just before the infamous crucifix masturbation scene, the object is in the downstairs living room. It’s never show how the crucifix makes it back into Regan’s room.
The Hidden Clay Sculpture: One of Regan’s clay sculptures is found buried in the location of Burke Dennings body (after he fell or was thrown from her bedroom window).
Regan’s Creepy Photo: The photo of Regan in Chris’s bedroom is alarming. The young woman has a pensive look on her face and is clasping her hands, as though feverishly praying.
The Pazuzu Statue Lurking in the Bedroom: In addition to the large statue that appears during the exorcism, images of the stone Pazuzu are subliminally added throughout the film.
The Witch and the Big Bad Wolf: On Regan’s art wall, there’s an image of the Big Bad Wolf dressed as grandma, inferring the young woman is already possessed. There’s also an image of Hansel and Gretel being seduced by a witch; hardly coincidentally, Regan and the witch are wearing the same shade of blue.
Mystery Subliminal: There’s a whisper and an image of Regan vomiting in the scene where Chris investigates the attic.
About Rob Ager on YouTube: Film and media analysis videos by Rob Ager. Subscribe for updates. I have almost ten hours’ worth of unlisted YouTube videos that can only be viewed via their links on my website (those videos don’t appear publicly on my channel or in YouTube searches, but are still to free to watch). I no longer sell DVD sets, instead I sell digital downloads on my site – quicker and cheaper (dozens of hours’ worth of extra content, the bulk of my work). I also have a Patreon account for folks who are interesting in crowd-funding future videos and accessing more exclusive content.
Official Synopsis: One of the most profitable horror movies ever made, this tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When young Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting odd — levitating, speaking in tongues — her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A local priest (Jason Miller), however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil. The priest makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow) to help with the difficult job.