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20 Jul, 2010 By: Thomas K. Arnold

The Exorcist, considered one of the most influential horror movies of all time, is getting the VIP treatment for its Blu-ray Disc debut from Warner Home Video.

The 1973 film, about the demonic possession of a young girl (Linda Blair), has been completely restored and remastered — in 1080p, from the original camera negative — for its Oct. 5 Blu-ray Disc bow. 

Both the original theatrical version of the film and the extended director’s cut will be included on the two-disc Blu-ray edition ($34.99). A single-DVD version ($19.96) with just the extended cut also will be available.

In addition to the film, the two-disc set, which will be issued in book form, will include three new documentaries: “Raising Hell: Filming The Exorcist,” with on-set footage, camera and makeup tests, and behind-the-scenes interviews; a tour of Georgetown locations where the film was shot; and a discussion of the two different versions of the film between director William Friedkin and author-screenwriter-producer William Peter Blatty.

Director Friedkin says he cut 12 minutes out of the film for its theatrical release, then put them back for a 2000 re-release.

“With technical advances, scenes that didn’t work then [in 1973] could be fixed with CGI, and there were others that I thought strengthened the spiritual aspect of the film,” Friedkin says. “This is the best and most complete version.”

The Exorcist is the most profitable horror film of all time, with a worldwide gross of $440 million, and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning two (best sound and best adapted screenplay). Entertainment Weekly has called it the scariest movie of all time.

The Exorcist also is one of the top 10 domestic box office performers of all time when adjusted for inflation.

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