Friday, August 16, 2013

Favorite Characters Part 3- Chris MacNeill

I've always wanted to include a parent in my favorite characters list, and while I could include Liam Neeson's character from Taken, it makes a lot more sense to include Chris MacNeill, the mother of Regan the possessed girl from The Exorcist. To me, there is nothing better to see than a parent who is willing to put it all on the line for their child, and what is more ballsy than putting it all on the line when your daughter is possessed by the devil? At the start of the story, she is a loving mother who, despite being a well-known actress, still finds time to raise young Regan. And for once, you have a parent that isn't completely clueless about their child's condition in a horror film. That's what always bugged me about evil kids, the parents area always really reluctant to face reality until it's far too late. Chris here immediately jumps on the situation and only suspects for a second that her sudden changes are due to puberty or a mental disorder. Even after the doctors continuously tell her that it may just be a problem with the temporal lobe or whatever, she yells at them "Are you serious? Did you not hear my daughter speaking with a creepy man's voice?". Throughout the course of the story, it is taking a physical tole on her as well. By the time she goes to Damien for help, she looks old and tired and just really worn out.

And considering that she is going up against the greatest evil of all, that being the devil, you can't discount the measures that she takes to save her daughter. Even though the movie is technically named after Max Von Sydow's character, it really is Chris that stands front and center along with Father Damien for the rest of the story, both are very strong characters. We are sympathetic to Damien for his recent plights and you want to be in Chris's corner as she continues to tackle realities that were long dismissed as fantasies, even to the Catholic church.

I hate to sound like a broken record but The Exorcist is one of the best horror films of all time, and it's not just because of the scary girl, but all of the effort that was put in by the rest of the actors, especially Ellen Burstyn, who is the emotional weight of the movie

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