Gender and Sexuality in “The Exorcist” Film
In retrospect, The Exorcist was a landmark movie that defined the very genre of horror movies, introducing innovative ideas that would, later on, be used for countless films and reiterated in a new light. Like any other horror movie, The Exorcist also rendered some of the social anxieties, particularly, the changing notion of gender and sexuality, challenging some of the clichés and pushing the boundaries of gender representation. At the same time, being the product of its time, The Exorcist also features some of the most rampant stereotypes associated with gender and sexuality, thus representing a contraction of the traditional interpretations of gender and sparks of innovative thought.
Viewing film production company through the perspective from the feminist theory results in a rather unclear mark on the particular viewer. Going through the film from the tenets of the Feminist Theory suggests that will the strength associated with charge character clashes using the plotline, which usually involves an exacto confrontation between the girl and the man supporting characters. On the other hand, the presence associated with a very solid female character, which usually embodies the features of both the particular protagonist as well as the villain, creates a system for advocating feminist ideas and motivating a big change in the particular dynamics of sex relationships.
On the furthermore, the injection from the idea that indicates the so-called “female threat” devalues the particular positive message that will the movie transmits, thus making this retract back in order to the area associated with female stereotyping. Even though The Exorcist do manage to tackle a few of the stereotypes concerning gender and libido by pushing the particular envelope of conventional perceptions with the particular help of a few of its characters, additionally, it restates some associated with the stereotypes, therefore creating an instead mixed feeling.
Theoretical Perspective: Assessment and Discussion
The genre of the horror movie will be a rather hard area to operate within for a film director due in order to the necessity to get new and revolutionary ways of interesting to exactly the same character of fear. Along with the latter usually rooted in seriously buried social worries, a horror movie has to be both blatant in the visualization of scary ideas and simultaneously subtle enough when addressing their social underpinnings (Sari and Fitria 4). To push the boundaries of the horror genre and attract audiences, films have to incorporate not only improved visuals but also innovative concepts, both exploring common stereotypes and subverting them.
The described phenomenon is exemplary of the problems of gender and sexuality as they are represented in The Exorcist. Offering the Feminist Theory as the ground for the discussion of the hidden layers of meanings in the movie, Ramos et al. provide a rather compelling statement about the nature of the gender issue. The focus on the complexity of Regan makes the authors’ argument particularly convincing, pointing to the fact that Linda Blair’s personality represents both the particular embodiment of the particular so-called “female threat” and the issue of “male interference” with a feminine body (Ramos ainsi que al. 85). Consequently, The Exorcist may be seen because both attempting in promoting the idea of women’s freedom and simultaneously motivating the idea associated with stifling it.
The current research around the effects that will The Exorcist plus similar films possess produced on the particular representation of sex and sexuality within society point out the particular ambiguity from the film’s message. Specifically, study claims that, whilst incorporating the guidelines associated with the female company, it also makes them as intimidating towards the social structure and relationships inside society. Despite a few of the defects in the intrigue as well as the overall evaluation from the content associated with the movie, mainly because well as the link with the interpersonal context in which usually it was arranged, the articles below analysis provide a good insightful interpretation associated with the issue.
In The Exorcist, the particular problem of sex and sexuality will be implicit since the particular notions are not really explored openly within the film. Regan embodies the worry from the nascent feminist movement and the particular notion of feminine empowerment, the film undermines its declaration by resulting in the situation in which the particular “feminine threat” offers to be demure. The main information from the movie will be inherently conflicting along with itself, with the principles of second-wave feminism colliding with the traditional representation of gender in society.
The observed problem is quite understandable and predictable since The Exorcist is primarily a horror movie, which pursues the goal of scaring its audience first and, thus uses the tools that were viewed as a shorthand for rendering scary imagery at the time. Although it is unlikely that the director used gender-related tropes and the concept of the “feminine threat” without understanding their intrinsic meaning (Kendrick 156). Nonetheless, the genre of the film allows focusing on what Ramos et al. refer to as “male interference” with the body of a woman is quite disturbing as it perpetuates the notion of a woman being unable to be in control of her own actions and identity.
The movie cannot be regarded as either strictly supportive of feminists’ plight or fully rejecting their cause. Instead, The Exorcist incorporates the projection of the societal fear of the “feminine threat,” simultaneously combining it with the representation of the uninhibited power of a woman. The film allows its audience to pick the side of the argument with which they identify without convincing them to take a particular stance on the subject matter.
Kendrick, James. “Slasher Films and Gore in the 1980s.” A Companion to the Horror Film. Wiley-Blackwell, 2017, pp. 310-328.
Ramos, Ana M. González, et al. “Who Possesses ‘Possessed Women’? Women and Female Bodies as Territories for Male Interference.” Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Sobre Cuerpos, Emociones y Sociedad, vol. 10, no. 27, 2018, pp. 85-94.
Sari, Rizki Ratna, and Sari Fitria. “Women Struggle in the Theory of Everything Movie Script: A Perspective of Feminism.” Paradigma Stato, vol. 6, number 2, 2018, 1-6.