This film is widely considered to be the first slasher film, so films like Nightmare On Elm St., Halloween, and Friday The 13th owe a great deal here. Hitchcock brilliantly weaved together a film that ultimately challenged American’s acceptance of sexuality and violence in cinema. In 1992, it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
An independent film that has had more of an impact upon our culture than perhaps any other, NOTLD gave birth to the zombies we know and love today (not the Haitian-esque zombies of White Zombie or The Serpent And The Rainbow). If you’re a fan of Resident Evil, The Walking Dead, or anything with zombies in it, go and kiss George Romero’s hand.
When it comes to horror, we know that our beloved genre doesn’t get much love from critics and mainstream award ceremonies. It’s frustrating and more than a little insulting. But once in a great while a horror film comes along and reminds everyone that our genre has validity, it has weight, and it has its fair share of messages. This is one of those films. The Exorcist went on to garner 10 Academy Award nominations, including two wins, and still bears the title as, “…one of the scariest movies of all time.”
This gave rise to the “self aware” horror film, one that could cheekily laugh at itself while still providing us with genuine thrills and a villain that has become an iconic image.