William Peter Blatty, one of the few authors to create a before and after in the American cultural psyche, died yesterday at the age of 89. The Exorcist and its companion novel, Legion, are not given enough credit for being not just horror novels, then movies, but also mirrors held up to human nature--as seen in this passage from The Exorcist.
The very best horror serves this or similar purposes: grotesqueries or terrors as mirrors. The Exorcist and Legion made us face our fears of bad things happening to good people, of the looks of innocence masking evil, and of our inner sanctums, our homes, not being safe after we lock the doors at night.
Thanks, Mr. Blatty. Rest.