{jatabs type="content" position="top" height="auto" skipAnim="true" mouseType="click" animType="animFade"}

[tab title="Movie Review"]

The Exorcist - The Complete Anthology - Blu-ray Review


4 stars

According to Warner Bros, the “scream” always rises to the top and, with release of this 6-disc set, the evil has arrived.  Or was it always here?  Warner Bros unleashes The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology to a public always hungry for more demonic possession flicks. While the films dip in quality – with The Exorcist and The Exorcist III being the best – this horrific collection is priced to sell and, for everything you get, it’s a deal that cannot be sanely passed (unless you truly are possessed).

The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology is the story of earth’s oldest and most insidious foe. It is the battle for human souls; a war between the light and the dark and your soul is what is at stake.  The collection includes The Exorcist (presented it its original theatrical version and extended director’s cut), Exorcist II: The Heretic, The Exorcist III, and the two prequels (by two different directors) of Dominion and Exorcist: The Beginning.

For me, the viewing of The Exorcist started with a ragged VHS copy. I remember not sleeping through the night for days after. Others recall seeing it in theaters that smelled of vomit. It certainly was received as a cinematic game-changer for the genre. Love it or hate it, William Friedkin's movie is a monumental classic of terror as it explores themes of sociological and personal faith as Fr. Karras (Jason Miller) and Fr. Lankester Merrin (Max Von Sydow) go toe-to-toe with evil itself.

The possession of Regan (Linda Blair) continues in the poorly received sequel The Heretic as she seeks out psychological treatment from Dr. Gene Tuskin (Louise Fletcher) and assists Fr. Phillip Lamont (Richard Burton) in clearing up all questions surrounding the death and reputation of Fr. Merrin. In the tightly-wound The Exorcist III, Lt. Bill Kinderman (George C. Scott) investigates the gruesome murder of a young boy and sees connections no one else wants to admit are there – connections that take him right back to where it all begin.

Regardless of how you feel about prequels in general, we have to acknowledge that The Exorcist Anthology includes two different versions of the same prequel. Make no mistake, there is a difference in each film. With The Beginning, directed by Renny Harlin, you have a film full of faltering jump scares, an all too predictable story and very poorly rendered CG jackals. With Dominion, written and directed by Paul Schrader, you have a slow and cerebral film the studio shelved in favor of Harlin’s more horror-friendly work. Dominion, while excrutiatingly slow, is the better of the two films. Stellan Skarsgård plays Fr. Lankester Merrin. On hiatus from the Catholic Church due to WWII war crimes, he finds himself involved in an excavation of a buried church in a desert location rumored to be the landing place of Lucifer when he was kicked out of Heaven. His journey back to his faith involves kicking a demon out of a possessed boy.

If you’d prefer not to purchase the whole set, be advised that Exorcist II, the criminally undervalued The Exorcist III, and The Exorcist: Beginning will be released individually. Unfortunately, Warner Bros has no current plans to release Dominion by itself. In other words, if you want the whole series, you’re going to have to pick this set up.

Give in to your inner demons. Own The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology. You know you want to.


[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

The Exorcist - The Complete Anthology - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - September 23, 2014
Screen Formats: various
: Various
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Six-disc set (6 BDs)
Region Encoding: A

Warner Bros presents this 6-disc with 1080p/VC-1 transfers for each film. The original film gets the best treatment as it is the same version previously released last year. And as our original review pointed out, “the picture for both cuts: VC1/1080p that are pretty close to perfection. There are some signs of noise in the blacks, a little inconsistency in contrast from scene to scene toward the end of the movie, but flesh tones are accurate, blacks are more often than not solid and detailed, colours are muted but faithful to the source; Friedkin’s 2000 colour timing remains, coated the dénouement with a blue tint. It is a very faithful cleaning up of the original source material, by and large. Transfer remains filmic with grain and no DNR visible.” The other transfers vary due to the film techniques of the time period. The Heretic appears soft from time to time and suffers from a general lack of detail. The Exorcist III, while better handled than its original release, is the film we expected and not the director’s cut. Details are fine but contrast suffers. Both Dominion and The Beginning benefit from being shot by shot by famed cinematographer Vittorio Storaro and their 1080p, AVC-encoded transfers are quite solid. The sound is presented in lossless DTS-HD MA stereo and/or mono mixes.



  • The Exorcist and Dominion get a commentary from its director. These are not to be missed as they are truly insightful.

Special Features:

t is no surprise that there simply are no new features here to be found. Everything is ported over from the other releases. The only reason to own this – if you do have the other versions – is for the slight improvement of the picture and to own Dominion.

  • The Exorcist: The Extended Director’s Cut
  • Raising Hell: Filming the Exorcist (30 min)
  • The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now (9 min)
  • Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of the Exorcist (10 min)
  • Trailers, TV Spots and Radio Spots (7 min)

The Exorcist: The Original Theatrical Cut

  • Director's Introduction (2 min)
  • The Fear of God (77 min)
  • Filmmaker Interviews (9 min)
  • Sketches and Storyboards (3 min)
  • Original Ending (2 min)
  • Trailers and TV Spots (7 min)

Exorcist II: The Heretic

  • Alternate Opening Sequence (2 min)
  • Trailer (2 min)
  • (1 min)

The Exorcist III

  • Teaser Trailer (1 min)
  • Dominion/The Beginning
  • Deleted Scenes (6 min)