Monsters are extraordinary creatures usually in the form of human beings. They are usually painted irrational characters. Mostly they may be displayed as ogres, evil spirits or in the form of animals that torture human beings. It is believed that monsters might be people who died a long time ago who come back as evil spirits. It is ascertained that the long – dead individuals might have died an abnormal death, for instance suicide or murder. Monsters appear to people in different forms. They might come as calamities, in the form of animals, sickness or even in the form of human beings. Usually, they are regarded as unseen creatures who work inside individuals, to ruin or punish that person or their families for whatever mischief they did in the past or as revenge. In many incidences, monsters reveal themselves in dreams or through mysterious actions performed by the possessed individual or they identify themselves through speech of an individual. It is also common that most films, plays or novels depict monsters as inhuman and intend to cause havoc in the society. However, some authors give them human characters that come in aid of individuals. Overall, monster characters in films, plays and novels are put in place, to criticize individuals concerning their behavior as rational beings in the society or to bring about positive change in the community. Specifically, they are meant to educate the society on their moral, spiritual strengths and social characters in the community. ‘The Exorcist’ film profoundly dwells on the savagery traits and evil causes of evil spirits.
The Exorcist talks about a monstrous creature that tortures human beings. In the first part of the film, some strange creatures are mysteriously found buried together with some spiritual objects. Immediately this prompts us to realize that the film is about a monster. According to Blatty (2011), in the first place, the Roman Catholic Medallion could not have been buried alongside such strange objects. In addition to that, at that scene was a church territory that anyone could not have just sneaked into and conducted the unexpected action. It is also during this first phase of the film that Merrin battles with the demon and wins it.
Still in the introductory part, an evil spirit that turns her into a horrifying creature that resembles human possesses the main character Regan MacNeil. The most thrilling part is when her face is turned to pale green. Friedkin (2011) points out that the demon makes her teeth lose their color and she acquires a deep, hoarse voice resembling an old dude. This horrific incident quickly leads us to conclude that there is a monstrous creature working behind all this. The film’s start is a bone -shaking one especially if one is the kind who believes in demons and evil ghosts.
Chris MacNei, Regan’s mother notices the strange behaviors in her twelve - year old daughter. However, she thought that the peculiar change in her daughter, was somewhat caused by puberty. Surprisingly, the strange ailment continues, and she is forced to take her to hospital for medication. It is obvious here that the demon in the girl was the one causing her all that turmoil. Blatty (2011) points out that the film depicts the callous trait of monsters by showing us how the girl suffered under the demon’s influence.
After several visits to the healthcare clinics, the doctors notice lesions that the girl was developing lesions on her temporal lobe. ‘This is noted as an extraordinary disease. Subsequent tests are done on the poor girl including X-rays, but there is no sign of any disease discoverable. We come to note that these are as a mysterious ailment because of an inhuman character. Regan had to endure successive unpleasant tests on her body, but that does not yield any fruit. It is after this that doctors prefers that Regan be taken to a psychiatric hospital. According to Kermode (2003), Chris does not like the doctor’s idea. She even assaults the doctor for having regarded her child as insane. Instead of visiting the psychiatric, Chris takes her child home still believing that her daughter had an actual disease, which is not the case.
Back at Chris’ home, we come to note that her disease is controlled by a superhuman creature when various telepathic occurrences start happening on her. Friedkin (2011) points out that there is violent shaking of the girl’s bed. The girl starts hearing strange voices and noise and she starts experiencing untold movements. Regan begins talking to herself and doing actions that seem appear to someone else working in her. Once again, an observer would come into conclusion that the hysterical behaviors were being caused by a superhuman being.
After several other checkups by doctors, it is decided that exorcism be done on the girl. Her mother Chris takes Regan to an exorcist who is a priest and a psychiatrist. This scenario discloses the identity of the forces behind the girl’s sickness. During this period, Regan constantly referred to herself as, ‘the devil’. It is fascinating to note that even up to this moment; Chris and the psychiatrist have not yet known cause of Regan’s sickness. Karras in the first place does not imagine that the girl is obsessed with the devil, but believes that she was suffering from mental illness. It is until he records her strange speech, which is English spoken backwards, that he learns of the existence of an extra human being in the child’s body. The extra ordinary thing with the demon’s actions was that even the exorcist does not clearly determine whether the girl was possessed or not. Despite the doubtful thoughts Karras had about Regan he decides to consult the priests and the church to carry out an exorcism on Regan. Karras efforts to drive out the evil spirit bore no fruits despite his prowess in exorcism.
The events since the beginning of the film do not reveal what is happening to the child. It is a remarkable thing that whatever was happening is indeed abnormal. For instance, Friedkin (2011) indicates that the demon’s existence has not yet been has not yet been proven, in spite of the girl visiting the exorcist. The hysterical behaviors caused by the devil’s action were monstrous that she had to pass thorough agony. At some point, we could see the pain that her mother was passing through and the doctors themselves. This is a clear indication that the illness was full of pain and distress. It is right to note that, at some point, the monster let the girl perform her duties normally and would erupt at particular incidences. This depicts that the devil was sly and deceptive in particular to make his identity unknown. This is one of the traits of monsters as portrayed in many other ogre related films and plays.
Having known that Karras was not going to drive the demon out of the girl, an experienced exorcist by the name, Merrin is summoned to Georgetown to assist. Together with Karras, they try to get the stubborn demon out of Regan. According to Blatty (2011), surprisingly, the demon insults both of them physically. The devil ridicules their powers by speaking to them directly, a clear indication that it was a hard nut to crack. For instance, the monster speaks in a tone similar to Karra’s mother. After a while of disastrous exorcism, Merrin dismisses Karras and takes over the job on his own. Karras leaves and lets Merrin do the work.
At this stage, the film depicts the devils real character. The devil was arrogant, adamant, abusive and brave. It is clear to us that the girl is under control of a massive demon that challenges even the renowned priests, Merrin, and Karras. The crowd that had gathered is seriously perturbed by the extra normal behaviors of the demon. They even acknowledge that it is remarkably a super hero devil.
Everyone expects that Merrin will manage to drive the demon out of Regan. To everyone’s’ surprise, the demon causes a fetal heart attack to Merrin. Karras arrives when Merrin is lying on the ground. This incident is a clear demonstration of how powerful and extraordinary monsters can be especially in terms of ruining the religious people.
During the last parts of the film, Karras is being ridiculed by the devil. This is seen when during his prayers of exorcism, the girl giggles at him. Apparently, it is the devil laughing at him for having so little power against it. It is until Karras begs the devil to leave the girl and possess him that Karra’s exorcism was successful. However, it does not leave him alive. Blatty (2011) points out that; Instead, the monster throws Karras through the window and he dies. This shows us that the devil is in constant pursuit of human souls and will never leave us in peace until we are done. Regan’s health is restored, and she is left blank without remembering what had happened to her.
All the incidences that happen above display the monster in the form of a human being. However, we come to know that it is an evil spirit when it transforms the poor girl into a different creature and makes her lose her head. According to Kermode (2003), it is clear from the film that evil creatures are superhuman and uncontrollable. They are also not easily recognized since they can transform into human beings. It is only after certain extraordinary occurrences that one is able to determine whether the monster is in control or not. The devil will try to do anything possible in order to be noticed. However, the devils deeds are so apparent that anyone can gauge its presence.
In the play, the priests represent God’s advocates for instance pastors, clergies and priests. The monster represents Satan while Regan stands for the utter Christian fraternity. The film in essence portrays Satan who ridicules the church. It is against the believers who think that they have already rescued places in God’s Kingdom when in actual sense there spirit is low. The evil spirit defeats the soul of Regan who was a believer. It also humiliates the doctors and the priests. This shows that God’s ambassadors should be ready to be challenged by the devil in spite of their being holy.
Blatty (2011) asserts that, in this play, the monster introduces us to the idea that God’s beings can also be challenged. It shows us that just like God, other superhuman creatures equal his strength and exist to win people’s souls. Therefore, the play teaches us to be more faithful and spiritual in the almighty in order for us not to be forfeited by him during trials. For instance, in the play, the two priests, Merrin and Karras were all renowned exorcists but were all pinned down by the monstrous creature. Morally the film teaches us the following things.
Firstly, believers should not be so certain about what is happening. Instead, we should always seek clarification on matters that appear extraordinary to us and beyond our understanding. Chris was sure to argue that her daughter could not be demon possessed. It is after consultation that she came to realize that she was.
Secondly, Christians should be strong in faith and pray always. We note that, in spite of the priests being so closer to God, they were vastly challenged by Satan. The challenge was so severe that Merrin was left with a heart attack and Karras died of the demon’s attack. Furthermore, Regan’s mother Chris did not lose her faith in spite of what was happening to her daughter. This is a clear lesson on having strong faith.
Thirdly, the film teaches us to be persistent and patient. Chris was patient with whatever remedies were being taken to cure her child. Friedkin (2011) points out that she kept on visiting the doctor even when the real cause of her child’s ailment was not being discovered. She also was patient with the priests during the time of exorcism until, at the end, her child’s health was restored.
Lastly, the film teaches to be always willing to offer assistance to the best of our ability. The doctors were willing to assist the daughter to Chris regain her health. Though they did not manage, they referred her to the psychiatrist and later to the exorcist. The two priests, Merrin, and Karras were determined to heal the Regan to the last point. Unfortunately, it came to happen that in order for her to be healed; Karras had to lose his life.
In conclusion, therefore, monster films are used to educate the society on different aspects of life. Whether devils exist or not, is upon self-judgment. The Exorcist film is a true-life changing story that shapes the society. From the happenings in the film, individuals can pick one or two traits, for instance remorsefulness and perseverance. The film also teaches us moral values such as, patience, persistence, faithfulness, autonomy and curiosity. It is also an encouragement to the Christians and all worshippers at large to increase their faith and trust in God. It also teaches on the virtue of prayer as a requirement of a believer.