In the first stage, the possession, he is contacted by Regan's mother, Actress Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn), who begs him to give Regan an exorcism because she believes Regan is possessed and
can't be helped by psychologists or doctors.
In the second stage, the investigation, Father Karras investigates the nature of Regan's illness, trying to determine if she is indeed truly possessed by a demon.
In the third stage, the exorcism, Karras actually conducts an exorcism on Regan.
By completing this three-stage process, he actually becomes an archetype kown as the exorcist.
An archetype is a specific type of person.
During the course of his interactions with Regan, an innocent girl who had never harmed a single person before her state of possession, Father Karras acts as the
protagonist battling the antagonist, Pazuzu, the demon possessing Regan.
Karras is unaware that, as an exorcist, he is cursed to die in place of Regan, the innocent. That is his fate.
In the last
scene, he punches the possessed girl and taunts the demon possessing her by saying, "Come on! Try me! Take me! Come into me!"
The demon jumps into his body, possessing him. But, Karras won't let it win.
He jumps out a bedroom window onto a stone staircase and tumbles down the stairs, landing as a bloody mass at the bottom, mortally wounded.
So, as a religious thriller, "The Exorcist" mixes triumph with
tragedy, humbling us as this sub-genre should.
Screenwriters should study this story as an example of how to create a religious thriller.
Would you like to write a screenplay that will sell?
Scriptologist.com's 6-page screenwriting exercise, "How To Write A Religious Thriller,"
can help you write a screenplay that contains the best elements of "The Exorcist" and "The Omen"--horror films that are part of a popular sub-genre known as the religious thriller.
Just answer the questions in the exercise, and you'll end up with a great screenplay.
Read an exciting excerpt from the screenwriting exercise,
"How To Write A Religious Thriller