Directed by: Paul Schrader
Premise: A prequel 1973’s The Exorcist. Stellan Skarsgard plays Lankester Merrin, an archeologist and a Catholic priest in a crisis of faith. After he discovers a buried temple in Africa, mysterious events complicate his faith.
What Works: The cinematography is terrific and the story is a very thoughtful exploration about good and evil. The story moves forward on Merrin’s conflict and builds very nicely. The conflict between British soldiers and the local Africans adds some added tension to the story and complicates Merrin’s supernatural and spiritual conflicts.
What Doesn’t: Some of the editing is not up to par and some of the computer-generated special effects do not look very convincing. This may be due to the conditions under which the film was finished.
DVD extras: Commentary track with Paul Schrader, deleted scenes, and a photo gallery.
Bottom Line: Dominion is a surprisingly good and fresh addition to the horror genre and to The Exorcist mythos. It is a better film than any of the other sequels to The Exorcist and is a worthy prequel to the original film.
Note: This is one of two versions of this picture. When Paul Schrader completed this version of the film Morgan Creek Productions disliked it and had Renny Harlin remake the film as The Exorcist: The Beginning. Harlin’s version was given a full theatrical release but after its box office failure Morgan Creek allowed Schrader to finish his film and released it on DVD.
Episode: #77 (December 11, 2005)