Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Dominion - Prequel to the Exorcist|
Actors: Stellan Skarsgård, Gabriel Mann, Clara Bellar, Billy Crawford, Ralph Brown
Director: Paul Schrader
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
Historic filmmaking! 2 filmmakers take on the same film. The original prequel to The Exorcist by Paul Shrader. The film traces the story of Father Lankester Merrin (Stellan Skarsgard) back to his first encounter with the D... more »
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"I am your enemy now till the end of time."
J from NY | New York | 09/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Schrader's "Dominion" has been misunderstood, as evidenced by the public reaction to it. To my mind, this is one of his greatest accomplishments as a screenwriter and, along with "The Exorcist 3", the best addition to the "Exorcist" trilogy. (Renny Harlin's hilarious "Beginning" doesn't deserve even one viewing.)
Stellen Skarsgard gives a believable, serious performance as Father Lancaster Merrin, an exceptional priest who will eventually have to give his life fighting an evil which has targeted him specifically for the quality of his faith.
Nope, sorry to most horror fans in advance; there's not an upside down cross every five minutes and there are no spinning heads or buckets of pea soup vomit. You're going to have to rely on dialogue, atmosphere, and a a few bone chilling scares. A half hour of this film is preferable to the entire cinematic output of Renny Harlin.
The film begins with Merrin finding himself in one of the worst conceivable positions a priest can; while in Nazi Germany, a particularly vicious SS officer decides to make him choose among a group of Jews he is protecting as retribution for a dead German soldier. Cynically, with the rationalizing bloodlust characteristic of these guys, he tells Merrin: "There's a bad person in every neighborhood. Choose the man who beats his wife, steals...." The result of this horrific incident crushes Merrin and he emerges a broken man, not only doubting God's existence but man's basic nature.
The rest of the movie is a slow, intense, and piercing meditation on maintaining the will
to good even in the face of humanity's sometimes monstrously destructive instincts. Through a realistically long trial in Africa, where he witnesses the brutal colonalism of the British to the natives and an outbreak of heinous aggression not dissimilar to what he witnessed at the beginning of the film, his faith is almost completely destroyed but ultimately regained by a confrontation with a spirit inhabiting the village's cripple, Cheche.
Schrader does a beautiful job with Skarskgard's character. Merrin has his credentials checked quite fully as a representative of God. It is a perfect setup for the events of the original film. Underappreciated.