William Peter Blatty was a Georgetown University student in August 1949 when he came across a front-page story in the Washington Post titled “Priest Frees Mt. Rainier Boy Reported Held in Devil’s Grip.” Blatty, a devout Catholic, was fascinated by the accounts of the 14-year-old’s bed violently shaking and torrents of curses in Latin whenever the exorcist commanded the demon to leave the boy.
Religion has a central place in many horror movies -- think of "The Omen," "The Exorcist," "Carrie," "Seven" and my favorite, "Rosemary’s Baby." It isn't difficult to suggest reasons why. Pageantry, sublimated sexuality, suffering, sin, death -- these are core elements of most religions that are right at home in the horror genre.