Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)

Directed by: Renny Harlin

Written by: Alexi Hawley


Stellan Skarsgård .... Father Merrin
Izabella Scorupco .... Sarah
James D'Arcy .... Father Francis
Remy Sweeney .... Joseph
Julian Wadham .... Major Granville
Andrew French .... Chuma
Ralph Brown .... Sergeant Major
Ben Cross .... Semelier

Release Date: Quick Theatrical: August 20, 2004






A former priest named Father Lankester Merrin (Stellan Skarsgård) is scarred about the innocent people who perished in the second world war as it haunts him by evil forces as he continues to have nightmares about the incident.
He travels away from his home in Holland and travels to Cairo Egypt where he does some archeology and a local there who is a collector wants him to look for a relic underneath a closed down church so he can retrieve it before a group of British people do.
However, outside when people are digging for other hidden relic's a owrker has a seisure and also encounters hyenas scrounging the place.
When Merrin and the other explorers enter the church they find paintings of Lucifer and a huge upside down crucifix of Jesus.
When Merrin arrives home his own crucifix on the wall is turned upside down plus he looks at satanic sketch art he found at the church which causes him to have terrible memories. Then he almost looses his mind, plus his clock on the wall stops ticking.

A young boy named Joseph (Remy Sweeney) is being tormented by his older brother but then hyenas break into their home and kills his older brother by ripping him to shreds while Joseph watches as he is posessed by the demon Pazuzu.

Merrin goes to an asylum to talk to a man named Bession (Patrick O'Kane) as Bession knows his name and then carves a symbol in his chest then kills himself.

Merrin tries to get a priest named Father Francis (James D'Arcy) to perform an exorcism on Joseph after encountering all of this madness but Pazuzu really wants the caretaker named Sarah (Izabella Scorupco) as she entered the abandoned church so Merrin must meet face to face with this demon.


We spot an interesting beginning in the film as there's a minister discovering deadly moments with people hung upside down on a cruicifix and so fourth near a deserted area with miles of this and dead bodies too which draws in some nice mysterious moments that involves the devil's work.
We also have a good strong discussion with the main character Father Merrin having a serious and fun discussion at an underground bar with
Semelier while drinking some shooters as this was highly energised to watch all of this happening.
Perfect intense surroundings with africans while Merrin is being driven towards someone having a seisure which is a good drawing card on a posession as well as revealing a silver object on what we saw in the original flick as well as the demonic statue underground in a caved area which we saw in the beginning of the original movie as well which is a nice touch to the story. Plus nice dark moments with Merrin still looking around in the caved area spotting an upside down crucifix of Jesus which really grabs your attention a great deal.
Perfect flashback memories with Merrin as a soldier as well as spotting some people shooting a child and other people along with devastated reactions on their loved one's as this setting looked good for an unpretty sight and making it almost hard to watch within all of this too.
We have a perfect moment that involves a young Joseph along with his older sibling grabbing something of his and refusing to return it as well as a perfect jumping moment with a bunch of hyenas attacking this person which looked perfectly terrorising as you wonder if he will survive this as well as Joseph watching this as this is a good sign on him being possessed.
Perfect shot on Merrin entering someone's room in a psych ward with this mental patients back turned on him speaking darkly at him as this leaves a perfect mysterious feel to the story as you get a creepy feeling that something isn't going to look creepy on him when he turns to face him and there's a good bizarre and deadly moment on what he does to himself which looked perfectly intense to watch in the scene here as well as leading to more mysterious moments while we continue to watch.
Perfect sequence with Sarah slowly going towards a mother while covering her baby with a blanket and about to open up the blanket on what she will spot which gave you the chills as to what is underneath this blanket leaving a hint that it's nothing pretty to see which looked well shot.
A nice dark shot on Sarah waking up from a nightmare and spotting an obnoxious middle aged man speaking aggressively towards her on a situation as this nearly makes you jump as it's what you least expect by catching you by surprise since everything was perfectly still in this scene.
Perfect discussion between Merrin and Sarah in a child's hospital room having a somewhat romantic discussion and then a nice jumping moment with Joseph's bed briefly moving as well as them slowly going to the bed to see what's up and then the bed shakes which is a perfect touch reminf=ding you on what happened on Regan's bed in the first one.
A good still and silent moment when Sarah is about to take a shower but hears something and slowly creeps in the hall with a candle to check up on something and then suddenly loud old fashioned music is playing which makes you jump out of your seat big time as this is perfectly unexpected.
Perfectly dark setting when Merrin is digging up a grave and having more of his flashback memories on the not so pretty moments when he was a soldier which shows perfect timing on what he plans to do here.
Perfectly crazy moment with Major Granville in a tent and doing his artwork on butterflies as well as these objects suddenly coming to life and what he does by losing his sanity which was impressive to watch and draws you in carefully as making you wonder if he will do what looks like he may or may not do.
The best comes towards the film when it is almost over with Merrin battling against the now possessed Sarah which totally looks like a full grown possessed Regan by how the effects looked as well as her climbing against a wall or ceiling as well as being pitted against poor Joseph too. Also we suddenly spot on what seems to be Sarah acting normal again and emotional but yet this looked like a perfect teaser by showing off that she may still be possessed. It for sure gives you the chills here.
Bottom line is that this was a prequel top the first film on how the exorcism caused by Pazuzu but however this seems a little too unbelieveable for this to be a prequel as the first film is in touch with a more realistic going ons with a posession. However, there are still effective and intense happenings as well as great special effects so I rate it pretty good. There's alot of scenes in this film that is similar to the first film however which I really admired.

The acting is terrifically performed by Stellan Skarsgård (Father Merrin) as he is a great character actor and he brings his disturbing scenes to life too. Has the perfect good rugged looks which helps his character big time. He really got into what he was doing along with having a convincingly serious attitude and showing off some good spunk, charm and energy into everything as well. He also does well by having a romantic type of personality too. Also does great with his reactions as well as his forceful aggressions whenever he needed to behave this way too. He was the perfect choice for this role.
Izabella Scorupco (Sarah) also performs nicely with her role as the caretaker of the kids in Egypt as she shows a nice sharp type of behavior as well as a niceness to her role along with concentrating perfectly well by being cautious and nervous while looking around and getting frightened. Also shows off some nice energy with her possessions as well as her emotional behavior as she draws it in perfectly while behaving like this.
James D'Arcy (Father Francis) seemed to do his job in a fine fashion as someone whom is well alerted on subjects and shows an interesting hype on what he is doing. He also does well showing an arrogant and cold type of attitude in a certain scene of the film which makes his performance seem truly mysterious as you wonder if he's possessed or not.
Child actor Remy Sweeney (Joseph) is great performing a posessed victim showing no expressions which made him convincingly evil. He does a great job by acting silent as well as reacting to stuff with fright. Shows off some good energy within whatever he does as well as showing some okay aggressions too.
Julian Wadham
(Major Granville) showed off his still and disturbed behavior quite well with whatever he does in his part showing good expressions and other types of performances such as that. Does a nice job losing control of his actions towards the end of his pertofmrnace by being silent about it all. A decent character actor for sure.
Ben Cross (Semelier) had the most effective supporting role in the film and came across greatly as one of those aggressive types while stressing a situation. Shows off a ton of energy into what he did along with coming across as somewhat eccentric within his personality. Has the right elderly type looks too.

Izabella Scorupco's character shows it off.
The ladies get Stellan Skarsgard drinking the nectar of life.

There are corpses during a flashback sequence in the beginning of this film
Lots of stabbings
A man carves a symbol in his chest and gruseomely slits his throat
A baby is born dead during a flashback sequence
Faces being slashed
Fingers broken backwards
Gruesome hung body
Human crucifixions
An eyeball being eaten by a bird
Blood coming out of a vagina
Lots of headshots
Slit throats and a kid being torn by hyenas. Many more too.

Trevor Rabin composed the music for the film with additional music by Paul Linford but it's not the same as the original music however the classical music is very strong and well done. We hear some clear chanting sounds which works in nicely. Also we hear jungle drum poundings sounding very strong as well as ther clear strong violin and strong trombone playing as it made things very catchy. Plus we hear alot of hissing, rusty metal scraping and dark sounds too which shines off in the film incredibly well.

Sarah: [possessed] What's the matter, Father? Don't you wanna fuck me anymore?

Sarah: [possessed] You want the whore, don't you? You wanna stick your big round cock up her juicy ass?

Sergeant Major: God is not here today, priest!

Sarah: This place... it's cursed.

Father Francis: This is the spot where Lucifer fell.

Father Merrin: Everbody died... Who buried them?

Father Merrin: It's not Mr. Merrin. It's Father Merrin.

Father Francis: You asked the question, now you listen to the answer!
[last lines]