Christmas-time 1973 delivered a major present wrapped in a big pukey bow for horror fans. The Exorcist premiered December 26, and changed the face of movie making while dividing critics, enraging some moviegoers, and causing a great debate within the MPAA ratings system. Director William Friedkin’s film pushed taboos, created an unparalleled buzz, proved horror movies could be mainstream, and rode the hype the way to the bank.
Christmas has, historically, seen a number of horror releases (perhaps this has something to do with family gatherings.) In 1946 The Beast with Five Fingers was released while 1961 saw a personal favorite of mine, the Innocents, released in France. It’s the film adaptation of the Henry James story, The Turn of the Screw. It’s classic gothic governess horror. Christmas 1997 saw An American Werewolf in Paris released. Not nearly as enjoyable as its predecessor, it’s a big, fat, CGI mess.
Title: The Exorcist
Released: December 26, 1973
Tagline: Something beyond comprehension is happening to a little girl on this street, in this house. A man has been called for as a last resort to try and save her. That man is The Exorcist.
Title: The Innocents
Released: December 25, 1961
Tagline: A Haunting Tale of Terror!
Title: An American Werewolf in Paris
Released: December 25, 1997
Tagline: Things are about to get a little hairy.