Exorcist: The Beginning | 2004 | R | - 5.10.5
Stellan Skarsgaard stars as an ex-priest turned archaeologist, who is called in by the British to a dig site in post-WWII Africa, where an ancient Christian church has been uncovered. Mysterious disappearances around the site are reported, and the tribal people who assist in the dig are fearful of evil spirits and refuse to enter the church. Also with James D'Arcy, Izabella Scorupco, Alan Ford and Billy Crawford. Directed by Renny Harlin. [1:54]
- A man and a woman hug, then kiss, she caresses his face, and they kiss again. A possessed woman straddles a man lying on the ground; she thrusts her hips on his crotch and makes several sexual and suggestive remarks. A possessed woman opens her dress to reveal cleavage and approaches a man asking in crude terms if he wants to have sex with her. A woman removes her robe and steps into the shower (we see her bare back and part of her bare breast). A man describes having "swelling in the evening" and points to his lap and asks her for "something to put on it." A woman wears a low-cut nightgown that reveals cleavage.
- A hyena circles a boy, then lunges at him, and it is joined by several other hyenas who tear and pull at the boy (we see his legs being pulled in opposite directions, we see blood on his face, neck and arms, we hear him crying and the hyenas snarling and tugging); two men shoot at the hyenas but they drag the boy off, continuing to tear at him. A man has carved a swastika in his chest (we see the deep bloody cuts), then draws a shard of glass across his throat (blood spurts and pours), and he falls to the floor twitching and then goes limp. A man shoots a man in the head (we see the hole in his forehead and he falls on the ground dead). A man has repeated flashbacks to having watched a young child being shot in the head, then another young child, then eight more people, who were shot in the head; he had been forced to choose each one (we see blood splatter and bullet holes in the victims' foreheads). A man's face is charred with bloody scratches. A man walks through a field strewn with dead bodies. We see a field littered with dead bodies after a battle (we see similar scenes twice more): we see bloody wounds, a bloody and severed head lies on the ground, a man has a spear sticking out of his abdomen and a gaping gash across his eye and cheek, and hyenas prowl through snarling and barking. A possessed woman charges toward a man and as she approaches she begins to look rubberized and eventually slams into some sort of force field and falls to the ground. A possessed woman is tinged grey, her eyes are yellow and she speaks with a deep voice and wheezes, she twists herself in half and we hear crunching. Something moves fast toward a man, he screams and we see blood, tissue, teeth and hair at the place where he was standing; we later see the man strung up by the arms with a hole through his chest (we see dripping blood and his spinal chord) and crows peck at him (one pulls out his eye). A boy is strapped to a bed, men begin to perform a ritual, they place leeches on his stomach and chant, one holds a knife over the boy, and one holds the boy down. A man's fingers bend back and break (we see blood and bones), and another man's leg breaks (we see the bone pop through the skin and blood pours out). A woman is held with a knife to her throat. A woman's head bleeds profusely (we hear gushing and squishing) and she cringes and falls limp. We see many people that are crucified hanging with their feet at the top of the crosses (we see bloody wounds): one man still squirms on the cross and many crows flutter and squeak loudly. A massacre ensues when soldiers fire guns at a group of people who charge them with spears and axes, many men are hit, soldiers are slashed with blades, and one is hit in the head with an ax. A man is struck through the abdomen with a spear and falls dead, one is stabbed through the neck (blood gushes), and others are stabbed with bayonets. A man lies dead on the ground with a pool of blood collecting around his head. A man is attacked from behind (we see him later with blood on his face and mouth and with a huge hole through his chest). A possessed woman holds a boy by the face and threatens to kill him. A boy's bed moves along a floor, his IV bottle fills with blood and then crashes to the floor, the bed shakes, and the boy convulses. A man holds a gun to his head, a moth crawls out of his mouth, he puts the gun in his mouth and fires (we hear the shot off-screen). A man imagines that he is holding a boy who has been shot in the head and his hands are covered with blood. People perform a ritual to prepare for a battle against armed soldiers: they drink blood, dance and chant. A hyena lunges for a monkey and eats it (we hear crunching and the scream of the monkey, and see blood and tissue). Two crows tug at the organs of a half-dead bird (the bird twitches at one point and we see the bloody organs). A woman screams in childbirth, a stillborn baby emerges from under a sheet and is covered with blood and squirming maggots. A man has many scabs and sores on his face, his teeth become yellow and blackened, and eventually we see pus oozing from the sores and something squirming from underneath the scabs, and there are flies swarming around him. A woman sees bloody footprints on the floor, looks down and sees that her dressing gown is covered with blood; she puts her hand between her legs and is covered with blood. A baby wrapped in a cloth is placed on a pyre and cremated while the mother cries and grieves. A man mounts a moth, looks away and when he looks back sees that his hands are covered with blood and he has been working on a dead crow (it is covered with blood). A room is covered with blood and tissue and flies buzz around. A man holds a possessed woman's head against his (he has applied "holy water") and we hear sizzling and she throws him back against a rock wall. A possessed woman grabs a boy and drags him into darkened passageways, a man follows, and a dead man falls in front of the man. A possessed woman sticks out her tongue and it looks to be split like a snake's. A woman makes veiled references to the abuse she suffered in a concentration camp and we are led to believe that she was raped. Hyenas walk through a doctor's clinic, she walks through halls carrying a scalpel, and she finds a boy sitting on the floor holding a blood stained blanket in which is wrapped the severed head of another boy (this is a nightmare). A woman wakes up with a start and finds a man in bed next to her, and he acts threateningly. A woman walks through darkened hallways, she hears a child running and laughing, she is startled when the lights come back on and the radio blares. We see a butterfly dying in a jar (it flutters and then is still). Bloody tweezers are dropped into a jar of liquid. A man cuts his hand on a piece of glass. A boy is given an injection in the arm. We hear about a plague that killed everyone in a village. Bats screech and fly toward a man. A man digs up a grave in a graveyard -- he's alone and in the dark and is encircled by hyenas. A man ventures into the ruins of a buried church and walks down into caverns beneath it in several scenes (he's alone and in the dark). A man shoves a man against a wall and threatens him, and they yell at each other. A sandstorm blows through a village and an excavation site. A man talks about human sacrifices. People pace and moan in a sanitarium. We see sketches of people screaming, with tortured faces, etc. We see a statue of a crucified Christ on a cross hanging upside down. Windows break out, and glass cabinets break.
- 4 F-words, 5 sexual references, 1 scatological term, 3 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for Africans, 1 religious profanity, 1 religious exclamation.
- People smoke tobacco and drink alcohol.
- Faith, loss of faith, Nazis, concentration camps, torture, evil, fear, Lucifer, cover-ups, religious rituals, evil spirits, hope, human sacrifice, the Vatican, demonic possession, tribal rituals, religious icons.
- Evil is all around us and is perpetuated by man. History repeats itself.
Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.
We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.
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