- Director David Gordon Inexperienced brings new life to a traditional horror franchise by ignoring earlier spinoffs and delivering a direct sequel to the unique.
- The main target of The Exorcist: Believer is on a father and his daughter, who embark on a harmful ritual that leaves them possessed and in want of assist.
- Whereas the movie falls in need of totally dwelling as much as the unique’s chills, it provides a satisfying ending and units the stage for a possible trilogy.
Editor’s notice: This piece was written throughout the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. With out the labor of the actors at the moment on strike, the film being lined right here would not exist.
5 years in the past, director David Gordon Inexperienced introduced new life to a beloved and iconic horror franchise by ignoring all earlier spinoffs and serving up a direct sequel to the unique installment that introduced again its formidable main woman. Now, he makes an attempt to do the identical precise factor with yet one more horror property. Earlier than, it was Halloween, and now, it is The Exorcist: Believer, the newest film to construct off the acclaimed 1973 unique. How one responds to the up to date tackle a traditional possession story will probably rely upon their relationship to the unique film.
For The Exorcist: Believer, the main target is totally on a father, Leslie Odom Jr.’s Vincent Fielding. He is been the only caregiver for his daughter Angela (Lidya Jewett) her total life, as her mom died tragically in an earthquake whereas on a visit to Haiti. Vincent has devoted himself to elevating Angela, and his world is turned the wrong way up when, one night time, she would not come dwelling. Unbeknownst to Vincent, Angela and her good friend Katherine (Olivia O’Neill) trekked into the woods to finish some form of ritual within the hopes of contacting Angela’s mother. What they as a substitute come throughout leaves them with burned toes and no recollection of the place they have been previous to their rescue three days after their disappearance.
Although Vincent and Katherine’s mother and father, Miranda (Jennifer Nettles) and Tony (Norbert Leo Butz), are initially thrilled to have their daughters again, it quickly turns into obvious the children usually are not alright. Inexperienced pulls out most of the acquainted possession tropes, from unsettling stares to violent head-banging. Jewett and O’Neill show to be wonderful successors to Linda Blair’s Regan from the unique; each younger actors nail the extreme physicality and twisted facial expressions that stem from the ladies’ possessions, and they’re chargeable for a lot of The Exorcist: Believer‘s thrills. Within the first portion of the film, Inexperienced depends on acquainted bounce scares to amp up the strain, however as soon as the demonic spirits have totally settled into Angela and Katherine’s souls, it turns into much less of a typical scary film and extra of a psychological thriller.
As Inexperienced’s Halloween introduced again Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, The Exorcist: Believer options the highly-anticipated return of Ellen Burstyn as Chris MacNeil, Regan’s mom who has gone on to review exorcisms in a lot depth. Vincent seeks her out after his neighbor, religious nurse Ann (Ann Dowd), raises the concept that Angela’s issues transcend normal psychological trauma. Whereas Laurie was one of many important protagonists within the revived Halloween trilogy, Chris will get a smaller function in The Exorcist: Believer, however Burstyn definitely makes essentially the most of it. She is a commanding presence onscreen, significantly in a chilling scene the place she confronts a demonic Katherine, who taunts her with pointed references to Regan. The complete extent of Chris’ function would possibly spark controversy amongst some viewers, however there’s little query that her look is likely one of the highlights of the film.
The Exorcist: Believer faces the tough activity of trying to dwell as much as one of the revered horror films of all time, and in some methods, Inexperienced, who additionally wrote the screenplay with Peter Sattler, is not in a position to recreate the identical chills. Nonetheless, the choice to have two possessed women as a substitute of only one finally ends up being greater than a sequel gimmick; it offers the third act real emotional weight, with the staging of the climactic exorcism giving the film a shot of adrenaline. The lead-up to the large second may be uneven because the screenplay grapples with attention-grabbing concepts relating to faith that are not all the time explored to the fullest extent. But, when the time comes, The Exorcist: Believer goes all-in on the ladies’ possessions, and each performer rises to the event as they combat to save lots of Angela and Katherine’s souls. Odom significantly will get a superb showcase when a devastating secret from Vincent’s previous is revealed, which solely provides to the emotional stakes.
In some methods, The Exorcist: Believer feels tame relating to the complete potential of its premise. The bodily harm brought on by the possessions is hanging, to make sure (and particular credit score ought to go to the make-up workforce for his or her work on the ladies), however the horror that comes from them would not pack an actual punch till the top. Fortunately, it is a captivating ending, and one which comes with a glimmer of hope. It is no secret Inexperienced and powerhouse manufacturing firm Blumhouse has a trilogy in thoughts for The Exorcist, however this installment provides few clues as to the place it might go. So far as first steps, although, The Exorcist: Believer makes some strong ones.
The Exorcist: Believer releases in theaters Friday, October 6. It’s 121 minutes lengthy and rated R for some violent content material, disturbing photographs, language, and sexual references.