Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Fox Lorber presents
In the Grip of Evil (1997)

"Wednesday, March 16. Permission was granted by The Most Reverend Archbishop Joseph E. Ritter that Father William S. Bowdern might read the prayers of exorcism according to the Roman Ritual."
- Father Bishop's diary

Review By: Jesse Shanks   
Published: September 28, 2000

Stars: Fr. William Halloran, Thomas B. Allen, Elizabeth Bowman, William Friedkin
Director: Charles Vanderpool

MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 0h:50m:00s
Release Date: July 05, 2000
UPC: 720917302621
Genre: documentary

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B BB+B+ A-

DVD Review

This is a very entertaining documentary created for the Discovery Channel that uses interviews and re-enactment to tell the "true" story of demon possession behind The Exorcist movie. In 1949, there was a reported case of exorcism discovered in a young boy living in Mt. Rainer, Maryland, a nearby suburb of Washington D.C. At first the problem was considered a case of poltergeist manifestation, when the child's Lutheran ministe witnessed many strange events, such as objects moving on their own. After attempts to determine psychological causes, the case was referred to a Catholic priest.

The film is well done and maintains an even keel even though it is dealing with such unusual and unbelievable material. A full range of interviews address the events as they are recorded in news accounts of the times and the diary of the priest involved in the exorcism. Father William Halloran, who was an actual witness to the exorcism, corroborates many of the unusal manifestations recorded in the diary. Elizabeth Bowman, M.D., who has treated many psychological disorders, attempts to tackle the questions with science.

The re-enactments are very well done and are not exploitative, as surely could have been the case. The scenes are low-key and illustrative and do indeed give us a feel of the real people involved in these inexplicable events. The story is told in a very compelling manner and is considered from several angles, making no grandiose claims. Questions of the supernatural and religion are discussed with an even-handed approach.

There are some decent background digressions about the nature of Satan, the history of exorcism and a visit to Milan where Bishop Emmanuel Milingo performs actual modern day exorcisms.

For viewers interested in exorcism or made curious about the actual events behind the movie The Exorcist, the information in this film makes for interesting viewing. This would also make a good scary disc for Halloween, because its low-key approach makes it quite frightening.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Director Charles Vanderpool goes into great detail in his interview in the extras about the visual techniques he used to create the look and atmosphere of this documentary. The transfer preserves his aims quite well. A mixture of interviews and re-enacments, the film achieves that scary kind of Nostradamus realism that make this type of documentary very enjoyable as a diversion. The images are crisp where needed and suitably foggy where necessary as well.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The audio transfer is very solid. The filmmakers use a certain amount of music and sound effects to add atmosphere to the film. But, it is not over done and the sound was very pleasant in the care taken for a documentary.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Transcripts — News Articles and Father Bishop's Diary
  2. Interviews with Father William Halloran and the filmmakers
  3. Windows Screensaver
  4. Printable PDF documents of Diary and Letters
  5. Background Images for Windows Desktop
Extras Review: There is a good selection of extras for this disc. I am not going to speculate over who might want to use the desktop images or the screensaver included. But, for someone doing a study of this particular exorcism or exorcism in general, this would be a useful research tool. In the "Transcripts" section, there are viewable images of four separate news articles about the case and the entire contents of Father Bishop's diary (referred to incorrectly on the packaging as Father Halloran's diary). The packaging also refers to "Additional Interviews with Witnesses." This turns out to be interviews with the filmmakers, director Charles Vanderpool, producer Brian Kelly and producer Marilyn Vanderpool. In addition, Father Halloran's interview as a witness to the exorcism, which was excerpted during the documentary, is shown in full.

Also found on the disc are PDF versions of the diary and other documents that are suitable for printing.

I found reading the entire diary quite chilling.

Extras Grade: A-


Final Comments

Quite an eerie tale in its own right, this disc is a must-have companion to The Exorcist movie as it documents the "true" story of actual possession that author William Peter Blatty fictionalized in his horror novel. It features many of the documents that are hinted at in the interview extras for the The Exorcist disc and contains insights from an actual participant, as well as others close to the story—answering many of the questions about this terrifying event.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store