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'Exorcist' Director: School Shooter is 'The Devil'

By DAVID WEINER

December 18, 2012

Veteran director William Friedkin's new movie starring Matthew McConaughey, Killer Joe, is out on home video this Friday, and in discussing the disturbing black comedy, the Oscar winner's thoughts turned to the tragic events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary last week in Newtown, CT.

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"I believe the only thing that explains this kid in Connecticut is demonic possession," Friedkin tells ETonline. "You can go and look for every goddamn reason on Earth – [James] Holmes, the kid in Colorado [that opened fire during the Dark Knight Rises screening], all of these people, Charles Whitman [the 1966 University of Texas tower sniper] – it's the devil, man. Whatever that means to you. There is a force of evil in the world."

Of course, Friedkin is well-known as the man who brought The Exorcist to the big screen in 1973, and he clarifies, "Now, I'm not talking about a figure with pointed ears and a forked tongue and a tail, carrying a pitchfork. There is evil in the world. The journalists today are going to go on a witch hunt to figure out what it was that triggered this young Adam Lanza to do what he did, and the answer's right in front of their faces: The existence of evil, uncontrollable.

"I'm sorry to say, but that's what explains it: The existence of evil, or The Devil, in short. Demonic possession," he continues. "There are many other kids who have Asperger's [syndrome] or autism and they don't do this. They're troubled kids, they're loners. They don't do this. Something we don't understand is extant in human nature, and that's what The Exorcist is about – and Killer Joe, by the way."

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He concludes, "I'm convinced. The best way to put it is the way Hamlet put it to his friend Horatio: 'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.'"

Killer Joe arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD December 21. Stay tuned to ETonline for more of our interview with William Friedkin.

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