The Exorcist: Believer

“The Exorcist” is considered one of the best and scariest horror movies ever made. It certainly was when it first was released in 1973. It caught moviegoers completely by surprise and it was something they weren’t ready to experience. A little girl possessed by the Devil. No way! Teenagers of today may not think much of it, but it did garner ten Oscar nominations, taking home two awards. While today’s jaded viewing public may not think too much of it, the film will always be a classic in the genre. 

David Gordon Green and the creative team that revived the Halloween franchise is behind the camera to see if they can strike lightning twice with another popular horror franchise. Like before, this story ignores all Exorcist sequels, making this one the new official “Part II”. Angela (Lidya Jewett) and Katherine (Olivia O’Neill) are friends who go into the woods after school and disappear for three days. The girls don’t remember anything that happened  during that time, but it is not long before both start behaving very strangely. Seems as if demonic possession is at play here. However, Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn), the mother whose daughter went through the same experience as told in the original film is back to help guide the two parents through their ordeal and hopefully get both children back to themselves before it’s too late. 

There are moments when “The Exorcist: Believer” captures some of the tone of the original had. The film is well edited. The performances are sold. There are some disturbing images and a few jump scares thrown into the mix. The story does take a while to set up, but to cut it down would not have served the story being told. The new element of having TWO young girls being possessed as opposed to just one is a welcomed change. Green also does well at building tension when the time calls for it. 

However, despite what it has going for it “The Exorcist: Believer” is not very scary. The jump scares will probably scare most people, but those are cheap. Having two characters being possessed is a new element, yet the story goes through most of the same motions as the original. Throughout the whole time something just felt like it was missing. Those who are horror fans or who hold the 1973 original in high regard will probably feel like they got their money’s worth while others may feel re-watching the first movie is a more valuable use of their time. 

2 Swords