Lol.....I don't think even they knew what I was getting into. (and my dad was no help whatsoever in the aftermath. I was too scared to go to sleep after seeing that movie, and he would pull some pretty scary pranks on me as I did try to go to sleep. )
The second movie had potential, but just missed the mark in so many areas. It was interesting that it kinda took a sci-fi approach in some of its story. Of course, seeing this movie (even if only on broadcast tv) was still scary enough for me at the time....and I think I was 11 or so. That face in the brain sequence scenes....still scary. When I saw it again on DVD many years later, I noticed there was some stuff missing from that presentation that I had remembered in the tv broadcast from years earlier.
An area where this movie missed the mark was the unintentional humor that tended to lighten the film's atmosphere. Although this was perfectly fine for me as a kid, in my adult years, I can see how this dropped the ball. Also, sadly to say, Linda Blair (hottie that she was becoming) was starting to show a severe lack in her acting abilities. (part of why she was starting to become regarded as a B-movie queen in not so later years. But from what I understand, she's been a guest star on a couple of police procedural dramas lately, and her acting chops had improved considerably.)
There's a ton of history around The Exorcist and its seuqels and prequels....far too much to discuss here without taking away from the OT (which I fear I've done already ). Suffice it to say, the history beyond the first film is rather troubled....but it still remains one of my favorite franchises.
There really wasn't a lot of gore in the first movie. It wasn't meant to be a graphically violent film....except maybe when you count one of the things Regan did to herself in her initial throes of possession. The third movie and onward is where the graphic violence started to plague the more sublime nature that should've been in them....that was a result of the suits seeming to think that graphic violence is what the latter films needed.
The third movie was called Exorcist III because that's what the suits wanted....when it was a totally different animal in the novel it was based on, called Legion. The suits wanted at least some kind of connection to the first film....thinking that the name Exorcist might sell the movie's concept even more. Exorcist III was not a bad movie by any stretch...it was far better than the second film. Also, George C. Scott played the role initally intended for him in the first film, Lieutenant Kinderman...a role that was ably performed by Lee J. Cobb at that time.