Horror boom leads to 'Exorcist' prequel

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THE HORROR film boom led by The Blair Witch Project is to continue with the announcement that a follow-up will be made of one of the scariest films of the Seventies.

Warner Brothers has signed a deal to make Exorcist: Dominion, dealing with the same subject as the 1973 film about demonic possession that was deemed so disturbing, it was banned on video until this year.

The new film, based on a book by The Exorcist's original writer, William Peter Blatty, will be a "prequel", concentrating on the exorcist priest Father Merrin. It will tell of his first encounter with the Devil while doing missionary work in Africa.

Horror movies dominate the top 10 film charts on both sides of the Atlantic. In Britain, The Blair Witch Project took pounds 5.8m over the weekend. The film cost only pounds 20,000 to make.