AMC’s horror-centric streaming service Shudder has recently released a new docuseries called the ‘Cursed Films’, directed by Jay Cheel. The show explores a variety of horror films that had a history of being hit by supernatural entities, pertaining to odd things happening on sets while the shooting was in progress. The docuseries' episode one ‘The Exorcist’ explores the behind the scenes history and footage of the film which was thought to be cursed.
The docuseries premiered on April 2, 2020, on Shudder.
It examines the root cause of the beliefs, speaking with those who help perpetuate them and those who take a refreshingly rational approach to the notion of a horror film being cursed. However, the docuseries seem to lack what it wanted to show to the world. They have covered the interviews and incidents related to the ‘horror’ behind the shoot of the movie very briefly, without much depth. The episode clocks under 30 minutes, leaving the fans wanting a more detailed explanation.
Fans took to Reddit to express their thoughts on the docuseries. A fan wrote, “has anyone had a chance to check it out yet? i thought the first episode was really lacking and the fact its only 30 minutes long kinda killed what could have been. I feel like it would have been better being an hour long and been a little more in-depth. Honestly, the first episode felt more like a teaser to a documentary than an actual documentary itself. what are your thoughts?”
Another user commented, “Okay so I just watched it and I agree it’s a little underwhelming. I feel like it was because the title of the series is misleading. Instead of talking about the cursed set they talk more about exorcisms and even show one. I feel like they were trying to get the message across that it’s only real if you believe it is and therefore the movie was scary because they themselves promoted all the stuff that happened on set in order to make it seem scary and real. Sorry if there are spoilers in here, I don’t know who to block it out. But yes I agree it was not what I thought it would be. Hopefully the next episodes are better.”
“These are stories we’ve heard different talking heads talk about in dozens of other documentaries. But this has a lame evangelical dude who exorcises people.” another Reddit user commented.
Another fan took it to twitter saying, “Turned on #CursedFilms to learn about The Exorcist, the movie/production. Was unprepared for the community theater ‘exorcisms’.”
“#CursedFilms ep. 1 was interesting in the first half but after they introduced that exorcist & started to sprinkle bits of religious propaganda throughout it made me super uninvested. I wanted to learn about the controversies around The Exorcist, the causes behind the creepy happenings onset, more first-hand accounts of the PR & unnatural occurrences, but instead we got some weird out of place stories trying to expel “witchcraft” & “evil” instead of focusing on the history of the movie. Very disappointed. Hopefully future eps.” tweeted another fan.
Despite the first episode's fail expectations, it is still interesting to see what the cast and crew members have to say about the film. The interview of Linda Blair, the actress was especially interesting as she talked about her shoot days and promotions. She also confessed that one of the employees of Warner Brothers admitted to her privately that much of the hype around people fainting and vomiting during screenings was all a PR stunt to drive up ticket sales.