The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

The Exorcist + The Summoners — Presented by Horrorbuzz

The team at returns May 17th to present what many regard to be the scariest film of all time – 1973’s The Exorcist.

Nominated for 10 Academy Awards, and winning a pair for its screenplay and ground-breaking sound mixing, director William Friedkin’s adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s bestselling novel The Exorcist is not only one of the giants of horror cinema, but cinema in general.  Ellen Burstyn stars as Chris MacNiel, an actress shooting on location at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  After her sweet and jovial young daughter Regan (Linda Blair) discovers a Ouija board at the home in which they are staying, she begins to act increasingly bizarre – and increasingly hostile.  As the changes in Regan’s behavior seem to manifest themselves in her appearance and voice as well, Chris scrambles from doctor to doctor trying to find out what’s wrong with her, and is given every answer under the sun, from brain lesions to multiple personality disorder. Turning to the church for help, Chris meets skeptical priest and psychologist Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller), who eventually petitions the church to perform an exorcism with an elder priest (Max von Sydow) who has some experience with demonic possession – and possibly, with the very demon who has taken hold of Regan.

The Exorcist is an enduring classic that has inspired lifelong fears of possession, Ouija boards, and pea soup…  William Friedkin’s naturalistic style brings the horrors from the movie into the real world, elevating the film beyond its genre trappings to ultimately land it a place in history as the very first horror film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.  Though both Friedkin and Blatty, whose novel is very much an exploration of crisis of faith, will insist it’s not a “horror” film, there’s no denying that the sights and sounds of The Exorcist rank among the most terrifying in film history.

This special screening will also showcase a short film from the HorrorBuzz Screaming Room, the official short film festival of Midsummer Scream: writer/director Christian Ackerman’s The Summoners!  Hosted by HorrorBuzz – your one-stop spot for all horror news on scary movies, haunt attractions, mazes, games, VR, books, and family-friendly horror entertainment! Learn more about HorrorBuzz at!

One Night Only – Friday, May 17 at 7:30pm!

“The movie that launched a new era in horror films, and which, for one generation, remains one of the scariest experiences of their lives.” — Jack Mathews, New York Daily News

“Some movies aren’t just movies.  They’re closer to voodoo — they channel currents larger and more powerful than themselves.” — Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

“There’s something elemental about The Exorcist.” — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone 

“From the day of its first release in 1973, “The Exorcist: was the greatest horror film ever made, and it remains so to this day.” — Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique