It’s not an understatement to say the Horror Movie Genre has been oversaturated for many years. However, we can be thankful for new IP’s & being grateful from what came before. I’m bringing this up because of The Exorcist Movie that came out in 1973. That movie revolutionized how we see horror movies today thanks to it’s groundbreaking effects, & themes of broken families. It created a fantastic new ways to scare audiences. Despite the direction of the franchise, they’re starting fresh with a new trilogy with old & new characters starting with The Exorcist: Believer. This is a direct sequel to the first film & ignores other media related to it.
This new movie is directed by David Gordon Green. He’s directed other popular Franchise Movies such as Halloween(2018), Halloween Kills(2021), Halloween Ends(2022). He wanted to do a re-imagining for the Franchise. A new cast of Old & New Actors such as Leslie Odom Jr, Jennifer Nettles, Ann Dowd, Lidya Jewett, Olivia O’Neill, E.J. Bonilla, & an old fan favorite from the 1st film: Ellen Burstyn! In addition, yes, she is reprising her role as Chris MacNeil. Ellen rejected being called back from the franchise several times for different sequels. She was convinced by a very tempting offer of money & a few phone calls from the director. She ended up proposing a bigger amount so she can create a scholarship for young actors at Pace University. In a way, the fans & Ellen both received their wishes.
The Exorcist: Believer revolves around the 2 families of Angela & Katherine. Angela & Katherine are children that end up disappearing into the woods for over 3 days. After extensive searching, they finally recover & return the girls to their families. Things take a scary turn when they’re not behaving the same. A demon has possessed the 2 girls giving them supernatural abilities. They become a danger to themselves and their families. The main character is Widowed Father Victor Fielding who struggles raising her daughter & has lost in faith in religion. He has had many hardships in his life & his daughter’s possession causes him to be even more skeptical. For Chris MacNeil, she makes it back to the Franchise for small but meaningful role. She decides help Victor & the families with this new possession.
The film suffers from many cliches & tropes such as Jump scares, body/splatter horror, & mediocre acting for some of the adult cast. There are some lines and moments that are often too predictable or precise for certain scenes in the movie. Lidya Jewett & Olivia O’ Neil shine in their performances as possessed children & steal the whole movie. The effects & camera work are pretty good for a $30 million budget. The film has certain conflicts in the story but it has questionable/lackluster resolutions. For example, a character has lost faith in the entire film but will change their perspective in the next 5 minyIt’s almost a bit too safe & doesn’t take many risks like other Horror movies.
The film stays tonally similar to other Exorcist films focusing on themes & symbolism of families. It has the message of keeping the faith in your religion and family. In addition, loving & believing in your family despite each other’s issues and secrets. For older Exorcist fans, there are a few references for fanservice you may enjoy.
Overall, The Exorcist: Believer is an average movie with decent acting, impressive effects and themes, fan-pleasing moments, and a promising beginning for the new franchise.
The Exorcist: Believer releases in theaters on October 6.