I think it’s safe to say that when I first saw 1973’s The Exorcist I was totally too young to comprehend the horror it was presenting. I guess I saw it when I was probably around seven or eight thanks to it airing on the Movie Channel. All in all I was actually bored by the film, especially when my Father talked up how absolutely horrifying the film was when he first saw it, the shocked audience members, the young women fainting, etc.
Having said that though when I watched the film about eight years later…boom…I was absolutely terrified by it. I had a very, very hard time getting to sleep that night, my brain kept playing over the ultimate nightmarish scenario of what was said to be true events. Of course being a fright fan means that in some masochistic way I really do enjoy being absolutely terrified out of my mind…so that is why I revisit the Exorcist on dark and stormy nights now and again.
The other day I stumbled across this 10th anniversary interview from a 1984 episode of Good Morning America featuring host Joan Lunden discussing the cultural impact with Max Von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, and of course Linda Blair. William Peter Blatty, the author of the novel that the film was based on as well as screenwriter for that script is interviewed as well.
[Via] Behind the Exorcist