Over 40 years after it was first released in theaters, director William Friedkin's The Exorcist is still considered by many to be one of the scariest movies of all time. The feat is even more remarkable considering that many horror movies don't hold up over time like classic dramas do, meaning, as movies and audiences themselves evolve, many won't think what was scary then is still horrifying now. That doesn't seem to be the case with The Exorcist, which still holds up for many all these decades later, although the younger generation might not find it as scary as some of today's horror contemporaries. But now we have a video that shows how the first audiences reacted to seeing The Exorcist on opening day, December 26, 1973.
The video also shows the incredibly long lines of patrons who wanted to be the first to see The Exorcist, which was adapted from William Peter Blatty's novel of the same name. It also spawned the sequels Exorcist II: The Heretic, directed by John Boorman in 1977 and The Exorcist III in 1990, which was directed by author William Peter Blatty himself, but the follow-ups were never as highly-regarded as the original. After showing the hundreds of customers eagerly awaiting to see this horror classic, the video shows how they initially reacted to the film once leaving the theater, many of whom are still shaking in fear.
We even see some some audience members literally faint after walking out of the theater, which shows how big of an impact this film had on moviegoers when it hit theaters in 1973. How did you first react to The Exorcist after the first time you saw it? Chime in with your thoughts below, after checking out what audiences in 1973 thought of The Exorcist.