In 1973, "The Exorcist" became one of the most influential movies of all time. The film scared a whole generation with its graphic imagery and religious themes. It became a staple of the horror genre. It picked up 10 Academy Award nominations, winning two for Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay for William Peter Blatty, who also wrote the book the movie is based on. In the years following the original, we were given sequels that were not as good as the original, and with the latest installment by David Gordon Green, the streak of bad Exorcist sequels continues. In what could have been an incredible idea to do the same thing David Gordon Green did with 2018's "Halloween," "The Exorcist: Believer" is a massive disappointment that fails to capture what made the original an instant classic. The idea of two girls being possessed on paper is excellent, with an interesting conflict at the end. Still, the characters need more intrigue or development to use or have any investment in them. It worked in the original because Regan MacNeill, played by Linda Blair, was a sweet and innocent little girl possessed by the demon Pazuzu for no reason. It's more effective because the idea of someone so innocent being possessed is scarier than someone with a criminal record or under a bad influence being controlled by the demon. "The Exorcist: Believer" is also dull due to its slow pacing and bland characters. The original movie was slowly paced, but it had interesting characters like Father Karras, who has questioned his practice as a priest. His journey is impressive and earned when he performs the exorcism with Merrin at the end. In contrast, the payoff for the characters in this version is not. Ellen Burstyn reprised her iconic role of Chris MacNeill for the first time in 50 years, and while it was cool to see her back, her screentime in this movie is extremely short that it felt like she didn't have to be in this movie, and what they do with her in this film comes off as a waste of a character. The only positive I will give in this movie is that Leslie Odom Jr. performs well and does his best with the material assigned to work with, but it's not enough to save the film. "The Exorcist: Believer" had so much potential to achieve the same success David Gordon Green gave "Halloween" five years ago, but it failed to capture what made "The Exorcist" remarkable due to its dull pacing, uninspiring characters and a story that makes no sense that the even the scary moments can't save it. I know people have a saying, "If you don't like scary movies, then don't watch this movie," but in this case, horror fan or not, don't watch this movie because this is one of the worst horror films I've seen in a long time and a film that will make you get an exorcism to remove it from your brain forever.
top of page
bottom of page