Film Review – Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on the Exorcist



Whilst there have been many iconic films over the history of genre cinema, few have had such an impact and lasting appeal as The Exorcist. Whether that’s through the number of scenes which have become entrenched in popular culture or the whole controversy it generated upon release. Whilst Mark Kermode’s favourite film is now almost fifty years old, it continues to terrify new generations of young horror fans.

Not only has Bill Friedkin’s film become somewhat of a classic, it has also generated numerous books, essays and features. Adapted from William Peter Blatty‎’s novel, it contains a number of fascinating themes and ideas. Not to mention that memorable possession. In his new documentary, Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on the Exorcist, Alexandre O. Philippe allows the inimitable director to tell the story of his most famous film in his own words.

Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on the Exorcist is a must for any fan of the film. Usually, you’d expect this kind of documentary to interview a number of cast and crew. Not Philippe. This is Bill’s show and he’s a captivating raconteur and a vivid storyteller. Using clips from The Exorcist to drive his recollections, we’re taken through the creative process from start to finish. Along the way we’re treated to a number of fascinating anecdotes and humorous titbits.  

Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on the Exorcist is available on Shudder from 19 November.

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