As horror fans, we lost some huge icons this last year. Some were older and some went way too soon. But because of their work in cinema, they will never entirely be gone from us. We can always pop in a DVD or Blu-ray and they will be just as alive as we remembered, giving us even more entertainment than before.
Being a fan of cinema for any length of time, you would think one could get used to losing some of their movie heroes and idols, but it still hurts when you ponder “what if they were to make just one more film?” Being a fan of cinema also helps keep their memory of what they did make alive and well. And by continuing to sing their praises, we can introduce them to the next generation of cinema lovers, so they can experience the same joy that we did, and still do, each and every time we bust out one of their movies.
Thursday, we have lost the author of one of the greatest horror novels of all time, William Peter Blatty. If you’ve never read the actual novel of The Exorcist, you’d be surprised at how effective it is, digging into your core just as much as the film version, if not more. That’s how good Blatty was. Strange though that before this novel, he was known for the most part as a comedic writer, writing several films for Blake Edwards, including the Pink Panther movie A Shot in the Dark. But once The Exorcist came out, there really was no turning back for him and he would always be known as “that guy”. But while it did pigeon hole him, he told the Washington Post in 2013, “I can’t regret The Exorcist. It’s done so much for me and for my family. And it’s given me a great deal of freedom to write what I want.”
Ever since he heard about the story about a 14-year old boy that was ‘cured’ by an exorcism in 1949, Blatty knew there was a novel in there, but it took over twenty years for it to finally come to be, in 1971. Two years later, director William Friedkin turned the book into one of the scariest films of all time, which actually got Blatty an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. A decade later, he would write a sequel to the book, called Legion, which he then adapted and directed the film version, entitled Exorcist III.