I'm a freelance writer living in Perth, Western Australia.
Published June 7th 2019
A must see horror for fans of The Exorcism
Have you ever watched 1973's The Exorcist and thought to yourself; I wonder what this movie would be like if it was made in Turkey instead? Well, wonder no more, because Şeytan has you covered and it is a gloriously cheesy horror film with a much-deserved cult following.
Beware the possession of Şeytan
Written by Yilmaz Tümtürk (1961's The Black Angel and Tasra kizi) and directed by the late Metin Erksan (Dry Summer and 1965's Time To Love), the film stars Canan Perver (Askin Gözyasi and Yirmidört saat) as Gül who puts on a spectacular performance. Gül is an average 12 year old girl, living in her high societal life with her mother, played by Meral Taygun (1992's Survival) in Istanbul, who soon finds her life spiralling out of control when the poor girl discovers a Satanic book and a Ouija board, which unwittingly leads her into becoming possessed by the devil himself. It's up to a local police chief, played by the late Erol Amaç (Turist Ömer Uzay Yolu'nda), a doctor, played by Ali Taygun (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles) and an exorcist, played by the late Agah Hün (1976's The Message and 1958's The Unknown Heroes) to perform a ritualistic exorcism to save her soul from the clutches of evil in its truest form.
Unlike the original, which is very much based upon fears surrounding the Catholic religion, this film tones down the religious aspect, making it more neutral, which is a very refreshing take on the possession genre of horror.
Poor Gül enduring a medical procedure to cure her of her affliction
Despite being a remake, this is a very fun film to watch. It is all so similar to the original but contains enough differences to keep you enthralled and raring to see what happens next. It is incredible that the makeup artists were able to replicate the famous makeup of the possessed child in the original Exorcist film and while the story is along the same lines. It is also interesting to note how much it has been changed at the same time, mainly due to cultural differences, which makes for some fascinating props and scenes. The filmmakers also hilariously use a slightly altered version of the original Exorcist theme music throughout the film.
The practical effects used throughout the film are very impressive for their time and the way the little girl's voice changes, once she is possessed, will give you chills!
Many cult followers have even turned viewing Şeytan into a drinking game, where you take a sip every time you notice something from the original film; be warned though, that you may not want to drive once you're done!
A remake worth seeing
Şeytan is not yet rated in Australia, but it is the equivalent to an MA and wouldn't be suited for those under the age of 15.