Lists are great. They inspire discussion, create arguments, and tend to spiral off into fun new lists. When you do a list about the “BEST” of anything it goes from being fun to becoming a hotbed for arguments. There’s no such thing as a definitive list but I’ve decided to pull from my rather extensive life of film watching and put it to good use.
This is not the “film critic’s top 100” list. There’s no guarantee Citizen Kane or The Bicycle Thief will be in the top echelon or even on the list. This is the 100 movies I would put my name on as my top 100. If I died tomorrow this would represent the 100 films I find most vital, special, or ones that bonded to whatever it is that makes me me. I’m not including documentaries, though that might make for a nice supplemental list.
The first 80 will be in no particular order. The last 20 will be in very particular order. One a day, you have my word.
#10 – The Exorcist
This is the top twenty. These are in order.
Why is it here:
The best. The one. The most notorious. The quintessential. The insanely quotable.
William Friedkin’s classic is everything a great movie needs to be and more. It’s shocking, superbly written and acted, and filled with moments that stick to your soul forever. It’s a film that took on several lives for me. First it was a taboo film that I saw way too young to fully understand. Then it was a cool movie to revisit with friends. Then it was a soundboard for hilariously inappropriate vulgarities. Now it’s as good as it’s ever been an astonishingly well made, considering all of the things it’s become famous for. It still works. It still works despite awful sequels [aside from III, which is great in its own right] and many different cuts released over the years. This is the horror film to end all horror films and one that so gleefully pushes buttons without being cheap. So perfect.
Moments to savor:
The fucking Pazuzu totem. Linda Blair’s potty mouth. Father Karras and Merrin rocking their shit. Carpet piss. The spider walk. The unforgettable ghostly face. The stairs.
To think that Jason Patric shot out of Father Karras’s dick. This movie is such a delight on every level.