We're used to so much horror these days, it doesn't seem likely that a film could cause a violent physical reaction. We're no strangers to eyes gouged out, limbs hacked to pieces and sexual organs snipped off. When word hit from Telluride this year that two people needed medical attention during a screening of Danny Boyle's '127 Hours,' our first thought was coincidence -- they couldn't really be related to the film, could they?

Well maybe suffering physical pain and discomfort because of a film will seem a little more likely when you hit the jump and check out the audience reactions to 'The Exorcist.' When the film originally hit screens on the day after Christmas in 1973, audiences were shocked by visions of Linda Blair playing the little, possessed Regan, and the adults around her who were desperate for a solution by way of an exorcism. Audiences shivered, shrieked, bolted from the theater and, yes, even some even fainted.

Indeed, someone fainting post-film was caught on tape. It might be a little easier to fathom if it was a long line of young innocents and gentle old folks shocked by subjects they weren't expecting to see, but remember this: These reactions happened to a horror crowd, those eager to see the controversial film and suffer a fright or two. Theaters even offered barf bags to moviegoers, because young Regan wasn't the only vomiting participant in the cinematic experience.

Then again, is it that much of a surprise? Most old horror films are child's play to our modern eyes, but 'The Exorcist' has always maintained a chill-inducing vibe, even after decades of advancement make some of the tricks look old. There's a reason it's one of the classics, and the first horror film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.

Now fans can even check out an extended director's cut of the film on Blu-ray, just to induce high-def fear and tempt devilish fates once again. And while you do, head over to Moviefone's killer 20 Things You Didn't Know About 'The Exorcist.' It's chock full of trivia about the film, potential curses and controversy.
The Exorcist
Based on 24 critics

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October 1, 2016
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