Exorcist: The Beginning (2004) Script

Puppet, sir. Only 10 piastres.

They're crap, squirrel. They fall apart before you're out of the door.

Five then, sir. It's handmade!


My sister, she's very, very sick.

I know your sister. She's peddling in the next bar over.

Do you know my mother? No.

She's very, very sick.

I'll give you two.

That's a bad idea, you know.

Like feeding pigeons.

Do I know you? My name is Semelier.

I work for a private collector of rare antiquities.

I cabled you last week. Yes.

And I didn't answer.

There's been a discovery in East Africa.

A Christian church, circa 5 A.D.

No, it's not possible.

The Byzantine Empire had adopted Christianity at that time... but they never got that far south.

Nevertheless, there it sits.

The British have financed a dig to uncover this church.

We believe a rare object waits inside.

We'd like you to find it and bring it back to us.

So you think I'm a thief?

Now you think I'm a thief and a whore.

No. Simply a man who's lost faith... in everything except himself.

Ah. You know nothing about me.

You're an Oxford-educated archaeologist... an expert in religious icons.

You were a priest before the war. So what happened?

This is a leather impression of the artifact we're looking for... a representation of a mythical demon.

It's Sumerian. What makes you think it's in a church in Africa?

A Major Granville in Nairobi is in charge of the dig.

He's been persuaded to let you join it.

You're assuming that I will say yes.

You already have.

March! Left. Left, right, left. Left.

Left. Left, right, left.

Left. Left. Left, right, left.


Left, right, left.

Left. Left. Left, right, left.

Mr. Merrin, sir. The major will see you now.

Beautiful, aren't they?

It's a hobby from school days.

Works wonders for the nerves.

You should try it sometime.

What can you tell me about the dig?

The location is a remote area of the Turkana district... called Derati.

It was discovered several months ago by a detachment of my men... on maneuvers there.

When the powers that be realized its importance, they organized a dig.

What have they learned so far?

That it's a church where no church should be.

This is Father Francis.

He'll be accompanying you to Derati.

It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Father Merrin.

I've read all your work at seminary. It's Mr. Merrin.

I was especially impressed with your treatise on the Roman rituals.

I'm no longer a part of that. I'm sure you didn't come here to discuss Catholic rituals.

I was actually headed to Kenya to begin missionary work... when Rome learned of the discovery.

They've asked me to make sure the site's religious aspect have the proper consideration.


How come you've opened the site to the Vatican?

We haven't... officially.

You're both my guests.

Tell me, have you any theories on who might have built this church?

Well, not until I've seen it.

Surely the Vatican has some record of its creation.

I'm afraid not.

We're as in the dark about it as you are.

How long have you been with the dig, Chuma? Since the beginning.

The British hired me as an interpreter.

What happened here?

Plague. Ravaged the valley 50 years ago.

How many died? All of them.

I'm Lancaster Merrin.

Major Granville should have contacted you about my joining the dig.

He did.

Is something bothering you, mate?


I'd like to see the dig site as soon as possible. You drink, Merrin?

I shouldn't... but my will is weak.

Then you might just survive this place.

I understand you've uncovered the church dome... but that progress has slowed down.

You could say that. Right, Doctor?

I'm Sarah Novak. Very nice to meet you. Lancaster-- Lancaster Merrin.

You still haven't made it by my room, Doctor.

I've been having this, uh, swelling in the evening.

Thought you might have something I could put on it.

How about a muzzle?

So how are the interior excavations coming along?

They're not. No?

Has the structure collapsed?

No, the church is perfect... but none of the men will enter, those we have left anyway.

Why's that?

I shall be leaving for the dig in five minutes.

Well... pleasant fellow.

What's wrong with his face?

Other than that it's attached to his body?

Could be an allergic reaction or some kind oflocalized infection.

Do you know why the men won't enter the church?

Evil spirits. Oh.

If you believe the Turkana. And do you?

No. I'm a doctor.

But as a priest, surely you must believe in such things.

I'm an archaeologist. I'm not a priest.

Now, that's funny.

I met Father Francis outside, and he told me you were.

Did he? Well, he is mistaken.

Father Merrin.

This is Emekwi.

He's donating the use of a room in his hotel for the mission school.

Father, we are so glad that you are here.

These are my sons, James and Joseph.

Hello,James,Joseph. They are learning the Bible.

We are, uh, Christians. Hmm.

Emekwi, can you see to Mr. Merrin's bags? Oh, of course.


Very nice meeting you, Doctor.

There's your goddamn church.

Is this your first assignment, Father?

Before this, I was studying in the archives in the Holy Sea.

The Vatican. Impressive.

But not really training for missionary work, is it?

This is strange.

It's 1,500 years old.

It should be badly weathered.

It's almost as if it were buried right after it was built.


Where's Jefferies? I need to go into the church.


They've been here ever since we started digging.

Even at daytime?

No! No! No!

What's the matter with him? I don't know.

The heat?


Are you out here by yourself? It's dangerous.

I'm collecting rocks. I can see that.

I think you're about ready for this now.

It's a tool for professional diggers.


His seizure's stopped.

I wanted to keep him at the hospital for observation... but the Turkana have stopped trusting my medicine.

Well, that must make your job very hard.

You have no idea.

Thank you.

So what is it you hope to find here?

The answer to why a church was built here a thousand years before Christianity arrived.

You were a priest once, weren't you? Yes, I was.

Black bastards! Bloody savages!

Can't wipe their own ass without instruction.

I have to get back to town. Wait.

I, uh-- I found this... and, uh, I want you to have it.

It's a St.Joseph, for luck.

Please, for my behavior.

Thank you. Oi, oi! What the hell are you doing?

Get the fuck out of here, you little scab! Don't!

Joseph, wait. Don't do that.

All right, Merrin. I didn't know you was a fuzzy lover.

It's okay. Come.

These little buggers, they get in everywhere.

How soon can you have the doors to the church uncovered?

A few days.

And in the meantime, how do we get in? We don't.

Chuma'll take you in through the roof.

Following us, Father?

Is it safe to walk around?

Let's see.

Lucifer. The Lord's favorite angel.

Cast out after the war in heaven.

Can't even trust angels, can you?

You ever seen anything like it? Not this far from Rome.

It's odd.

Churches were built to exalt heaven... but this, the weapons are pointing downward.

Look behind you, Father.

Desecration of Christ.

Who would do something like this?

The crucifix was broken off from here.

Chuma, is there an inventory of what's been found here?

I wouldn't know.

Who would know? 'Cause this place has been vandalized.

Probably the lead archaeologist, Monsieur Bession.

So where can I find him? I need to talk to him.

It's not possible. Why not?

He's gone mad.

No one's been inside Bession's tent since he fell ill?

They are superstitious.

And you? Not superstitious. Smart.

Chuma. Yes?

Where's Bession now? A sanitorium in Nairobi.

How long has he been gone? A few weeks.

And he can read and write Aramaic? Sorry?

The language spoken in Palestine at the time of Christ.

And what does it say?

““The fallen shall rise... in a river of blood.''

Do you have a moment?

Of course. Can I get you some tea?

Or maybe something more substantial?

Yes, that would be very nice.

You dabble in the occult?

I found them here when I arrived.

I wanted to ask you, did you treat Bession?

You should let me clean that before it gets infected.

There was nothing I could do for Monsieur Bession.

He had no medical symptoms... nothing to suggest any kind of disease or infection.

His breakdown was purely mental and extremely severe.

That's why the Turkana fear the church is cursed.

That and the disappearances.

In the past few weeks, we've lost a dozen men.


Or is it those evil spirits?


I'm sorry. I shouldn't have. Your curiosity's perfectly natural.

My father was a strong man.

When the Nazis started rounding up theJews in our town... he didn't hesitate.

He hid our neighbors in the crawl space.

But someone turned us in... and we were all sent to the concentration camps.

I'm sorry.

People can't really understand, can they?

If they weren't there... if they didn't see.


And my husband turned out to be one of those people.

I met him after the war, and we came to Africa together, in love.

One night I realized I-- I had to tell him the truth... about... the Nazis... and what they did to me.

After that, he never touched me again.

So... what turns a man of the cloth into an archaeologist?

I don't know. I suppose I--

I wanted to work with something real, something I could touch with my hands.

Do you miss it? Being a priest.


There's no point in that.

Sometimes I think the best view of God is from hell.

I should get to bed.

I'm going to Nairobi tomorrow to see Bession.

Talk to Father Gionetti. Gionetti?

He runs the sanitarium.

Well, thank you... for the medical care.

Deliver us from evil... for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever.


You, priest. What is your name?

I'm Father Merrin.

God is not here today, priest.

Want some water?

Hey, what's wrong?

It's late.

You should go back to bed.

Give it to me! It's mine!

Oh, is it yours? Give it to me!

Mr. Merrin gave it to me. Here, take it.

Take it! Oh,just give it to me, you idiot!

Who you calling idiot? Take it! It's right here.

Give it to me! It's mine.

Shorty. Shorty. Shorty. Just give it to me!

All right. Okay, okay.

Go back to bed, and I'll give you the stupid thing.

Joseph, look out!

Joseph, get Papa! Get Papa!

Joseph, help me!

Joseph, please, get Papa quickly.

No! Help me!

Help! Help me!

Help me!

Help me! Help me! Please!

What happened? Hyenas. They toreJames apart.

Did you see that, Lancaster? The hyenas ignored Joseph.

They were focused on his brother.

That was a lot more than focused. They acted as if he wasn't even there.

Can you see? Can you hear?

Come with me.

Monsieur Bession?

Mr. Bession.

You worked on a dig in Derati.

You drew a picture of an idol.

Where did you see it? Was it in the church?

Mr. Bession.

Father Merrin. How do you know my name?

I said how do you know my name?

Are you hurt?


I'm free.

God is not here today, priest.

I hope he finds peace.

I'm Father Gionetti.

I've been waiting for you.

How did he know my name?

Have you drifted so far from God, Merrin, that you can't see?

Monsieur Bession was touched by the devil.

Demonic possession? Forgive me, Father.

I never said he was possessed. Only touched.

So, "touched." What does that mean?

In 1647, the Ursuline Convent in Loudon, France... was plagued by possession.

Thirty-four nuns had been touched by the devil... committing unspeakable acts.

Having orgies including goats doesn't make them possessed.

Simply horny... and inventive.

Four priests were dispatched to exorcise the demons.

Three of them were possessed themselves and subsequently died.

The last one was driven insane by his brush... with evil.

That is what happened to Monsieur Bession.

And that evil remains in Derati.

You must be careful there.

Remember, he is the father of lies.

He will seek to poison your mind.

You will need this against him.

The Roman Rituals.

If you need somebody to perform an exorcism, I'm not your man.

I'm not a priest anymore.

You will always be a priest, Father Merrin.

Only your faith can save you.

Well, then I'm doomed.


What do you have there?

Can I see?

You threw it away.

Jefferies, what the hell are you doing in here? It was in the dirt outside.

You threw it away. No, I didn't.

The clasp must have come loose-- Liar!

Do I repulse you that much?

Maybe if you could cure my fucking face...

I might look as good to you as that archaeologist.

Joseph? He's coming for you.


He's coming for you.

What happened? I had a bad dream.


Don't worry.

You'll be fine.

Where is everybody?

Sebituana's baby is coming, so the village has gathered in welcome.


Joseph. Hey.


You're back.

Are you all right? Yeah, I'm just a little bit tired.

These lesions-- they're not from the shock, are they?

No. They're completely asymptomatic.

Itjust doesn't make sense.

He should have recovered by now. So what is it?

In this part of the world... it could be a dozen things... but his symptoms don't really match any of them.

So all I can do is just watch and wait.

I have to do some work up at the dig.

Will you be all right? Hmm. Yes.

Come sit with me, Lancaster.

I promise I won't bite.

What is it?

How was Nairobi? Oh, fine.

Did you see Monsieur Bession? He's dead.

How? I don't know.

Some accident.

I just don't understand everything that's happening here.

It seems like I can't help anyone anymore.



Help me hold him.

Emekwi. I'm doing everything I can for him.


It's this place, Lancaster. The Turkana are right.

It's cursed. Sarah.

You don't understand.

What they did to me in the camp. They--

There's nothing left to bleed.

There is something here, something evil.

Sarah, it's so much easier to believe in evil as an entity... but it's not.

It's a purely human condition inside all of us.

Did Bession talk about what he found under the church?

There's an ancient temple below, a pagan place... where they used to conduct sacrifices, human sacrifices.

Why would they build a church on top of something like that?

Perhaps to purify the site.

But then why bury it?



You better come with me.

Jefferies didn't show up for the dig this morning.

He wasn't in his room, so they came to the bar and they found--

Chief Sebituana's baby was stillborn last night.

He blames the whites.

You think the Turkana tookJefferies?

I think this place is on the verge of an uprising.

I've contacted Major Granville.

A detachment will be here by this afternoon.

You disagree?

In my experience, bringing soldiers into a situation is always a bad idea.

Who buried them?

Everybody died.

Who buried them?

All right! Halt!

Major Granville. Hello, Peter.

Come on! Out you get! Move it, Wilkins!

Any answers on Jefferies? I'm afraid not.

Well, you did the right thing calling me, Father.

I've been in these situations before... and you have to stay on top of--

on top of these people.

I'm not sure the Turkana are responsible for what's happening here, Major.

Major Granville?

This dig is too important to jeopardize... and until I'm satisfied that the excavation is secure... the British Army will assume complete control.

The Turkana won't like the show of force.

I'm not concerned with what the Turkana like, Mr. Merrin!

If they start any more trouble, they will have to answer... to the might of His Majesty King George.

You cannot be here.

Please tell Sebituana I'm sorry for his loss.

You are not welcome here.

I want to know about the plague that destroyed this village 50 years ago.

It was not a plague.

So, what was it?

The evil in your church... it has taken Emekwi's youngest son... and it is getting stronger.

You must abandon your work... or we'll be forced to stop you.

So you don't want to tell me?

He says he doesn't have to tell you because it's happening again... right now.

You don't bury your dead. You cremate them. Yes.

Then who's buried in that graveyard?

I'm sorry.

What are you--

I'm sorry. Daddy.

I will shoot 10, priest, and you will choose.

I can't do that.

No! No!

Now you choose... or I will kill them all.

Are you praying... to God?

Shoot me.

God is not here today, priest.


They're empty! What?

I dug up three graves. They were all empty. What happened here?

I-I don't know. Oh, yes, you do.

You've been lying to me since we got here. Let go of me.

Damn it! There are crosses on the graves!

There are crosses on the coffins!

The church buried them, didn't they?

Didn't they?



What were they hiding?

That this place is damned.

No! You asked the question! Now you're gonna listen to the answer!

There was a massacre here...

1,500 years ago.

An army from the west, led by two priests... searching for the origin of a powerful evil.

But when they got here that evil consumed them... turning the soldiers against each other in a bloodbath.

Only a single priest survived.

When that priest made it back to the EmperorJustinian... he ordered that a church be built over the site and then buried... to seal the evil inside.

All mention of it was to be stricken from the history texts forever.

But it wasn't?


In 1893... a Vatican researcher found an ancient letter in the archives.

Four priests came to examine the site... enlisting the help of the people of this valley in their search... and they all disappeared.

Where did they go?

No one knows.

The Vatican ordered a cover-up-- the false graveyard... the tale of a plague to-- to scare people away.

And then the British stumbled across it.

And I was sent here to see if the legend was real.

What legend?

That after the war in heaven... this is the spot where Lucifer fell.

God brought you here, Lancaster.

Leave me alone.



The devil is here... inside that boy.

The Turkana know it.

They came to drive the devil from him, and he almost killed them.

You can't run from this.

You must help me.

I can't.

But you've seen what's going on here.

You have to believe.

I believe in nothing.

Found Jefferies.

Over there! As you were!

Major Granville! Wait!

Get him down.

Get him down!

You all right, Major?


Major! Major!

Bloody savages. Why are you here?

Granville! You have no business to be here!

You must leave. Granville!

You people have plundered our ancestors. Granville!

You must return Turkana to us now.

Let me through! It is time to go.

You have already polluted our lives.

You came here with your evil. We knew peace before you came.



No! No!


They think it's insideJoseph! They believe the evil is upon us!



They believe it is inside Joseph.

They are going to kill him.

Now, please... go!

You animals!

Turn this way! I don't like it. Come on!

Three boxes of ammunition!

Sir. The Turkana are preparing to attack.

Leave me.


I said, leave me.

Yes, sir.

We must leave now.


Where's Sarah? I don't know.

Take the boy to Nairobi.

Father Gionetti.


Turkana are coming to kill him.

It's a sandstorm.

It won't let us leave.

We have to hide him.

The church. No!

The Turkana won't go in there.

It's his only chance.

Aren't you coming? I have to find Sarah.

We'll meet you.


Now go.


The Lord is coming for you.



In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sanctu.

Steady now! Pick it up, mate!



Oh, my God.

Bession was Sarah's husband?


She went into the church with him, didn't she?

It's notJoseph. It's Sarah.

Sancti Michael Archangel--

Ready yourselves, men!






O Lord, forgive my disbelief.

I need you.

These people need you. This valley needs you.

Hear my cry.

Do not abandon me now.

Forgive my sins.


Come sit with us, Lancaster.

I promise I won't bite!

Joseph, run.

He's mine. Run!

Leave him alone. It's me you want.

I am a fallen priest.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

God, Father in heaven, have mercy on us.

God, the Son, redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.

Christ, hear us.

Lord, have mercy on us. What's the matter, Merrin?

Don't you want to fuck me anymore?

All ye holy angels and archangels... pray for us!

All ye holy orders of blessed spirits, pray for us!

Why would he listen to you?


You believe in nothing. You're all alone.

Without hope.

Almighty Lord... and father ofJesus Christ... grant me, your unworthy servant, pardon for all my sins... and the power to fight this cruel--

Joseph, come on. Don't be afraid.

No! Father!


Father, help me!

Help me! Help me! Joseph!

Father Merrin!


O Lord, by your name save me.

By your strength defend my cause.


Father! Joseph?





I'm coming.

O God, hear my prayer.

The ruthless seek my life.

They do not keep God before them.

Turn back the evil upon my foes.

In your faithfulness destroy them.

Where's your God now, Merrin?

Fucking his only son while you call out his name?

He doesn't care about this whore.

But you do... because you want to shove your rotten cock up her juicy ass.

You can't have her, priest. The whore is mine.

And I'll kill her before I let you take her from me.

From the souls made to the image and likeness of God...

I cast you out!

You're a killer, Merrin.

You looked them in the eye, pointed your finger, and they died.

God is not here today, priest.

Oh, yes, he is.

You're going to watch him die, Merrin.

Fail him like you failed all the others.

God, spare this child, for he is innocent... and deserves your blessing.

God, spare this child... for he is innocent... and deserves your blessing.

God, spare this child, for he is innocent and deserves your blessing.

I command you to depart! It's the power of Christ that compels you!

It is God himself who commands you.

It's the majestic Christ who commands you!

God, the Father, commands you. God, the Son, commands you.

God, the Holy Spirit, commands you.

The mystery of the cross commands you!

Unclean spirit, I cast you out!

Lancaster. Sarah.


It's over now.





Don't be afraid.

I need your help,Joseph.

Listen, whatever you hear, whatever you see, it's just his lies.

Don't listen. Don't watch. You understand?

Don't listen!

It's just lies. You have to be strong and concentrate.

Can you read this?

I will start there. Then you will answer.

That's me. That's you. That's me, and that's you.

You understand?


Let's start.

O God... by your name save me.


Save your servant.

““Who places his trust in thee, my God.''

Be unto her, O Lord, a fortified tower.

““In the face of the enemy.''

O Lord, hear my prayer.

““And let my cry come unto thee.''

The Lord be with you. ““And also with you.''

Begone, evil spirit... in the name of the Father and of the Son... and of the Holy Ghost!

By the sign of this holy cross... by our Lord Jesus Christ...

God, the Holy Ghost, commands you!

The blood of the martyrs commands you!

In God's name, demon...

I cast you out!




Thank you.

Look, um--

Sarah, what is it?

What is it, Sarah?

What is it, Sarah?


No! Help--


No! Help--



She's with God now.

She's with God.

I trust your mission was successful.

I couldn't find what you were looking for.

But you found something.

Didn't you?

Good-bye, Mr. Semelier.

Au revoir, Mr. Merrin.

It's Father Merrin.