THE EXORCIST (1973)
Directed by William Friedkin
A cat unexpectedly jumping from off camera is scary. But The Exorcist is so disturbing it will mess you up for months. Controversial and profane, The Exorcist remains the most viscerally harrowing movie ever made, not only because it dares to question the existence of God but because it has the cojones to put Satan in the body of a 12-year-old girl. Moviegoers literally fainted as Linda Blair vomited pea soup on a priest. And after a series of mishaps, Friedkin asked a clergyman to perform an exorcism of the set. ''A lot of people definitely thought something weird was happening,'' says Blair, ''but I was so young they tried to keep me in the dark.'' Consider yourself blessed, Linda.
Image Credit: Everett Collection
Super-special DVD editions of ''Evil Dead 2'' and ''An American Werewolf in London'' drop today, our cue to turn down the lights for cinema's most satisfying shocks -- from ''The Shining'' to ''The Exorcist'' to ''The Ring''