Exorcist: The Beginning

Synopsis: Archeologist Lankester Merrin is asked to go to East Africa to excavate a church that has been found completely buried in sand. Merrin is also an ordained Roman Catholic priest who, still haunted by what he was forced to do during World War II in his native Holland, eschews any religion or belief. He's fascinated by what he finds and that it dates hundred of years before Christianity was introduced to the area. Accompanied by a young priest, Father Francis, to keep an eye on the religious elements of what they find, Merrin makes his way to the camp. There he meets a young doctor, Sarah and soon realizes there is an air of gloom that envelops the entire site. Workmen go mad and a young boy is mauled by a pack of hyenas while completely ignoring his younger brother Joseph. Inside the church itself they find signs of desecration. Merrin is forced to re-examine his lack of faith and come face to face with the devil.
Director(s): Renny Harlin
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min

Puppet, sir.

Only 10 piastres.

They're crap, squirrel. They fall apart

before you're out of the door.

Five then, sir.

It's handmade!


My sister, she's very, very sick.

I know your sister.

She's peddling in the next bar over.

- Do you know my mother?

- No.

She's very, very sick.

I'll give you two.

That's a bad idea, you know.

Like feeding pigeons.

- Do I know you?

- My name is Semelier.

I work for a private collector

of rare antiquities.

- I cabled you last week.

- Yes.

And I didn't answer.

There's been a discovery

in East Africa.

A Christian church, circa 5 A.D.

No, it's not possible.

The Byzantine Empire

had adopted Christianity at that time...

but they never got that far south.

Nevertheless, there it sits.

The British have financed

a dig to uncover this church.

We believe a rare object waits inside.

We'd like you to find it

and bring it back to us.

So you think I'm a thief?

Now you think I'm a thief

and a whore.

No. Simply a man

who's lost faith...

in everything except himself.


You know nothing about me.

You're an Oxford-educated


an expert in religious icons.

You were a priest before the war.

So what happened?

This is a leather impression of

the artifact we're looking for...

a representation

of a mythical demon.

It's Sumerian. What makes you

think it's in a church in Africa?

A Major Granville in Nairobi

is in charge of the dig.

He's been persuaded to let you join it.

You're assuming that I will say yes.

You already have.

March! Left.

Left, right, left. Left.

Left. Left, right, left.

Left. Left. Left, right, left.


Left, right, left.

Left. Left. Left, right, left.

Mr. Merrin, sir.

The major will see you now.

Beautiful, aren't they?

It's a hobby from school days.

Works wonders for the nerves.

You should try it sometime.

What can you tell me about the dig?

The location is a remote area

of the Turkana district...

called Derati.

It was discovered several months ago

by a detachment of my men...

on maneuvers there.

When the powers that be realized

its importance, they organized a dig.

What have they learned so far?

That it's a church

where no church should be.

This is Father Francis.

He'll be accompanying you to Derati.

It's a pleasure to finally meet you,

Father Merrin.

- I've read all your work at seminary.

- It's Mr. Merrin.

I was especially impressed

with your treatise on the Roman rituals.

I'm no longer a part of that. I'm sure you

didn't come here to discuss Catholic rituals.

I was actually headed to Kenya

to begin missionary work...

when Rome learned of the discovery.

They've asked me to make sure the site's

religious aspect have the proper consideration.


How come you've opened

the site to the Vatican?

We haven't...


You're both my guests.

Tell me, have you any theories

on who might have built this church?

Well, not until I've seen it.

Surely the Vatican has

some record of its creation.

I'm afraid not.

We're as in the dark

about it as you are.

- How long have you been with the dig, Chuma?

- Since the beginning.

The British hired me as an interpreter.

What happened here?

Plague. Ravaged the valley

50 years ago.

- How many died?

- All of them.

I'm Lancaster Merrin.

Major Granville should have contacted you

about my joining the dig.

He did.

Is something bothering you, mate?


- I'd like to see the dig site as soon as possible.

- You drink, Merrin?

I shouldn't...

but my will is weak.

Then you might just survive this place.

I understand you've uncovered

the church dome...

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Alexi Hawley

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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