J.W. Hendricks’s review published on Letterboxd:
There was a significant portion of my life where this was the only film I refused to watch. I was as much a Christian as I was a cinephile, so I occasionally felt as though I had some limitations (I don't know why I felt this was one, as it confirms religion). In recent years, however, my taste has broadened, I've opened myself to all kinds of cinema, and my belief system has grown to incorporate science (physical and metaphysical) as well as Christian religion and spirituality. So, as my mind has opened, so has my willingness to watch movies that I might not have when I was younger. Today, I finally worked up the courage to watch The Exorcist.
(Okay, yeah, I watched Possession recently, and I've seen films like The Witch and such, so the paragraph above might seem a tad hypocritical, but those have all been within the last year or so)
What struck me about The Exorcist was just how tastefully crafted it is. I was not aware of its award recognition. Friedkin's direction is precise, calm, calculated, meticulous, and intense. It's a classic story that's been done time and time again, cheapening with each studio rip-off. This is a pot boiler that gets turned up to 12. The fascinating characters are brilliantly written and real. The performances are incredible. The sound design is some of the best I've ever heard. This isn't just horror. For someone like me, this is true horror. And it is riveting, amazing filmmaking. The Exorcist is one of the best horror movies I've ever seen. I should go start going back to church.