July 18, 2009
The Exorcist comes to Blu-Ray ... sort of.
If the original version of the film is left off the disc, then that would be a pity, since the revised version, despite a few improvements, is basically inferior to the original version, thanks to some cheesy bits that I discussed at my blog three years ago. What's more, the original version of the film is long overdue for a remastering as it is; the only edition of it on DVD, at least in North America, is a single-layer disc produced for the film's 25th anniversary in 1998. (The revised version was released on a dual-layer disc in 2000.)
But an even bigger potential problem lurks in the shadows here. What if the Blu-Ray contains not the second version of the film that was released in 2000, but some brand-new third version? What if it really is a version that we've never seen? There would certainly be a precedent for this: director William Friedkin caused a huge controversy earlier this year when he produced a rather ugly-looking version of The French Connection (1971) for Blu-Ray, and there's no reason to assume he wouldn't do the same thing to this film. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.