[Editor's Note: Beau McCoy is a longtime reader who I met recently. I quite like his writing and have asked him to contribute to the site. I hope you'll encourage him in the comments to return again. He doesn't have a blog so I'm featuring his "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" entry here as a kind of sneak peak to Wednesday night's group activity looking at "The Exorcist". I'm already terrified to follow this entry up. It's quite an opening scene. Are you joining us on Wednesday? -Nathaniel]
by Beau McCoy
There are few horror films whose reputation precedes them quite like The Exorcist (1973). Even if you never see the film, you know it. You know what it's about. You know specific scenes and you know certain images, even if you can't quite remember how you came across them. In much the same way Friedkin intended for certain subliminal imagery to make its way into the film, (using failed makeup tests with a model), the film inserts itself, impermissibly, into the subconscious of those who experience it in one way or another.
When you hear about films, if you're anything like me, there's something that hits you that I've called 'The Wave'. A tsunami of emotion, memory, nostalgia, fear, and regret that gives you opportunity to view yourself viewing that film in a different time. I can't remember much from the early part of my life. There are people who I see after years and I can't recall exactly how it was I knew or met them in the first place. But with a film, it's as though it made its way into me, burrowing itself into my subconscious, or heart, dick, what have you, and when it's called upon, it pops up cheerfully like an old friend to say 'Hey! What have you been up to?'
The Exorcist, appropriately enough, is not so cheerful. It looms. [Beau's best shot after the jump]