We all kinda knew a 4K release of The Exorcist was coming long before it was ever announced. Being one of Warner Brothers’ most iconic films, including it as part of the studio’s year-long 100th Anniversary celebration is a no-brainer.
Regardless of one’s personal opinion of the movie itself - this writer happens to think it remains the greatest horror film ever made - The Exorcist’s cultural impact and ongoing influence is irrefutable. Not only is it still being liberally ripped-off today, the title still apparently has brand name marquee value, with the first film of a new trilogy being released this year (which we probably don’t need, but I’ll refrain judgment until I actually see it).
So yeah…a 4K restoration and release was inevitable. And I gotta say, if a technical upgrade of The Exorcist is what you seek, this is definitely a must own. The overall image isn’t perfect, but a significant improvement over any previous disc release (and there’s been a ton of ‘em). Similarly, the new Dolby Atmos track sounds great, which is available for both the theatrical and extended director’s cuts. The theatrical cut also includes an original mono version.
|Sometimes you gotta dance like no one's watching.|
But elsewhere, this is practically a bare bones release. Other than a commentary and introduction by the late William Friedkin (RIP), there’s no supplemental material included on these discs, even though many previous releases were loaded with them. After all, not only is it Warner’s 100th Anniversary, it’s The Exorcist’s 50th, and considering the film’s production history & cultural impact are nearly as fascinating as the movie itself, one would think a few more extras could have been thrown in (if even just older ones). Oddly enough, it’s the digital copies that feature a bunch of bonus material.
So while The Exorcist should be part of anyone’s collection, the 4K edition is strictly for physical media collectors interested in a technical upgrade…and they’ll still want to hang onto their old copies for the supplements.
THEATRICAL & DIRECTOR’S CUTS - On separate 4K discs.
INTRODUCTION - By director Willaim Friedkin (theatrical cut).
AUDIO COMMENTARY - By director William Friedkin. With a “Special Sound Effects” option (both cuts).
DIGITAL COPY - For some reason, the digital copy is the only one featuring bonus features, all carried over from previous releases.