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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
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(2004), R
Plus Comparative

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
August 20, 2004
24 out of 100

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If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2004), R -- For some, such sights and sounds cannot be unseen or unheard except by prayer and faith.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Dominion Productions, Morgan Creek Productions
Distribution (US): Warner Bros. Entertainment Company
Director(s): Renny Harlin
Producer(s): Guy McElwaine, Wayne Morris, David C. Robinson, James G. Robinson
Written by: William Peter Blatty (The Exorcist); Story - William Wisher Jr., Caleb Carr: Screenplay - Alexi Hawley
Cinematography/Camera: Vittorio Storaro
Music: Trevor Rabin
Film Editing: Mark Goldblatt, Todd E. Miller
Casting: Pam Dixon
Production Design: Stefano Maria Ortolani
Art Direction: Eugenio Ulissi
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

I don't believe this 2004 prequel is an attempt beyond inherent to build on the 1973 original, to magnify it or to widen the scope of it. I believe it is an attempt to capitalize on a previous success. Nothing more. It was too hollow and shallow for it to be an earnest attempt to fortify the first edition. For example, the connecting artifact found in the 1973 version was found in northern Iraq. It was lost in Kenya in this version. Judging from the comparative data display below, the coarsening of even the R-rated stratum is obvious as revealed by the original being not nearly as vile as the prequel.

The World War II Nazis in Holland were murdering little children by shooting them in the head and were going to keep doing it until Father Lankester Merrin (Stellan Skarsgård) revealed the identities of key people in his Parrish. What was Merrin to do? Kids were being killed. So Merrin told the Nazis what they wanted to know. The people Merrin revealed were then murdered by the Nazis. Merrin's anguish and torment began.

For his guilt, Father Merrin, who is also an Oxford educated archeological scientist, lost all his faith and could no longer call himself a man of God. His faith could not stand up to the torment. Merrin defrocked himself, left Holland and became a faithless drunk, trying to escape the emotional razors of his past by guzzling away the horrors for which he blamed himself. But little did Merrin know that the true horror had not yet begun.

In 1949 Merrin was met in Cairo by Semelier (Ben Cross), a collector or rare antiquities in hopes that the expert archeologist would join with a British archeological excavation which had unearthed a Byzantine church in the Turkana region of Kenya in "mint condition" as if it was "buried on the day it was completed." As the story goes, after the war in Heaven, the buried church marks "the place where Lucifer fell" and where evil was born. [Rev. 12:9] Never mind that Satan was cast out long before the first human brain was ever created let alone a church building built.

Merrin's job was to find a demon relic before anyone else. The relic is the joining point of the two Exorcist movies. The relic to be found in Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), which is found then again lost, is the relic Father Merrin (Max Von Sydow) in The Exorcist (1973 Remastered) found toward the beginning of that show.

Merrin agrees to go to the dig and try to find the relic. What else does Merrin find? More brutality against innocent villagers -- the same horrors he left Holland to escape. Merrin also finds that as the church is unearthed, madness saturates not only the villagers but the British soldiers sent to protect the dig.

After the animals, children are the first targets of the evil swooping over the villagers, just as children were the target of persuasion by intimidation by the Nazis in Holland. Maybe there is script method to that madness. Maybe that targeting unintentionally parallels the entertainment industry as it targets our youth. The father of lies knows no honor.

At the dig, Merrin takes a fancy in the local doctor, Sarah (Izabella Scorupco) who, after a number of children are victimized and after one child is labeled as the host of the evil, becomes the ultimate manifestation of the evil one.

Inside the Byzantine church is sculpture of Jesus on the Cross -- upside down as if an upright Cross originally there was torn down and hung upside down. In recognition of the writers, such might be expected in a church occupied by Satan and his dogs. Even the Satanists of today understand the "message" of the upside down Cross, or the Southern Cross Also in that church is what is a very vulgar sculpture, ostensibly of Satan himself bearing what appears to be the same head as that of the demonic relic Merrin is trying to find.

At one point (subjectively speaking) the film is the most vulgar film I have ever seen because of the contribution by Scorupco. How she could actually speak the things she did is beyond me. Well, I guess since Linda Blair could be portrayed as speaking vile filth that made it okay for Scorupco to so do. All in the name of the performing arts. Maybe Linda Blair or Izabella Scorupco did not actually speak the words but someone did.

What is it in the minds of the people who write this stuff that can cause their brains to generate such vile and reprehensible filth? [Mark 7:21] Creativity? Neither creativity nor "It's a movie" excuses the sin of demonstrating sin. [Ps. 12:8] The sexual vulgarity of that one scene with the possessed Sarah is intense beyond any ability to describe it in words without the description being nearly as vulgar. Murmurings and mumblings after the show and even manager commentaries corroborate this assessment. But do the secular reviews? N--o-o-o!

People who love children and are incensed by violators of them will find no entertainment in a young boy being ripped apart by CGI hyenas. Or if you are one to be repulsed by seeing a child get her brains blown out of her head by gunfire no less realistically or desensitizing than the news footage of the asian man being shot through his head, it would not be wise to watch this film. Folks who find it unacceptable to watch a man stuff a pistol barrel in his mouth then pulling the trigger, seeing the flash of the powder illuminate the inside of his mouth will not find this film acceptable. If you are bothered by seeing a human body atomized into tiny pieces and another body with a 10-inch hole eaten through its midsection with about half the flesh gone from the rest of the body, this film is not for you. For some, such sights and sounds cannot be unseen or unheard except by prayer and faith. [Phil. 4:8, 1 Cor. 15:33] 8MM put this rather succinctly: "Dance with the devil, you don't change the devil - the devil changes you." [1Pet. 5:8, Phil. 4:8]

If there are any positive features to this film, they are up to you to discover if you decide after reading the listing in the Findings/Scoring section of this report that this film is watchable.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Rev. 12:9 The great dragon was hurled down -that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
  • Mark 7:21 For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, ...
  • Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
  • 1Pet. 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
  • Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The heart of the CAP Analysis Model)

    Exorcist: The Beginning (YEAR) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • desert burn gore
  • large field of dead bodies and parts with gore, repeatedly
  • animals feeding on dead flesh
  • injury gore
  • butchering meat for effect
  • explosive startles, repeatedly
  • Nazi murder gore, repeatedly
  • animals ripping child apart
  • self mutilation
  • cannibalism among blackbirds
  • maggot covered newborn child
  • facial gore, repeatedly
  • blood trail, repeatedly
  • Nazi beatings
  • human body "atomized" into tiny pieces
  • assault
  • mutilated dead body with birds feeding on it, hole through it with parts missing
  • general gore, repeatedly
  • pistol to the head for suicide
  • bug crawling out of human mouth
  • many firearms
  • many gunfire killings
  • individualized warfare killing and gore, repeatedly
  • field of dead bodies
  • exploded chest
  • murder victims with gore
  • long sequence of attack by demon possessed woman

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • three uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • four uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • child lying to sell
  • assault on child
  • race insult

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • sexual harassment, repeatedly
  • camera angle to force viewer on private parts
  • excessive cleavage and child looking down into it
  • rude view of childbirth
  • female nudity,twice
  • woman in towel only, repeatedly
  • request for sex
  • extremely vulgar sex talk
  • extremely vulgar pose and movement of intercourse

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness

    Offense to God (O)
  • upside down crucifix and sculpture of Jesus on the Cross, repeatedly
  • unholy influence on populace
  • occult playing cards
  • "Some think the best view of God is from Hell"
  • unexplained rotation of crucifix on wall to the upside down position, twice
  • evil drawings, repeatedly, some drawn in blood
  • unholy opening and closing of doors, once of locked doors
  • tale of Satan's demons as stronger than God's angels
  • "Only your faith can save you" ... "Well then I'm doomed"
  • inexplicable lesions
  • inexplicable blood
  • inexplicable bed movement
  • inexplicable bed shaking, violently, repeatedly
  • vulgar demon statue, repeatedly
  • window shutters flapping in the wind with no wind
  • "Evil is a pure human condition inside all of us"
  • constant theme of rising evil
  • unholy influence, repeatedly
  • ritual over child
  • attempted ritual murder of child
  • bones breaking through skin due to hyperextension by unholy force
  • inexplicable bug to bird
  • dead bugs coming to life
  • ritual drinking of blood
  • storm by unholy force
  • room/walls covered by blood with evil drawing sin blood
  • unholy temperature drop, twice
  • unholy change in eyes
  • unholy possession with grotesque deformation and injury, many
  • child abduction by demon possessed woman
  • blood suddenly appearing
  • unholy power to crawl walls

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • Nazi murder of child by gunshot to the head, repeated views of it with as much realism as the news footage of the oriental being shot through his head
  • gunfire murder to the head
  • suicide with much gore
  • suicide by gun in mouth with flash of powder illuminating the inside of the victim's mouth
  • impalement murder
  • murder by unholy possession



    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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