Directed BY: David Gordon Green

By Seth

In 1973, “The Exorcist” shook moviegoers to their core, unleashing a tidal wave of terror that left audiences traumatized. Reports surfaced of fainting spells, retching, anxiety-induced panic, and even mini heart attacks, prompting a frantic exodus from theaters, nerves frazzled well before the halfway point.

The film’s impact transcended shock; it birthed a maelstrom of controversy, resulting in its banishment from home screens and eliciting vehement condemnation from the Catholic Church. And rightfully so, considering William Friedkin’s audacious portrayal of a 12-year-old girl ensnared by a malevolent entity. This cinematic milestone fearlessly unfurled a panorama of horrors, from profanity-laced diatribes to spine-tingling contortions, ghastly projectile vomiting, and the disturbing defilement of a crucifix through a harrowing act of self-indulgence.

Since then, few ventures in horror have dared to elicit such gut-wrenching reactions. Nonetheless, directors persist in the pursuit of such heights. Enter David Gordon Green with “The Exorcist: Believer,” a direct sequel emerging half a century after the original’s debut.

Green deftly interlaces his narrative with tendrils binding it to its forerunner, melding elements like pugilism, eerie vocalizations, and an omnipresent aura of Catholicism. He artfully tips his hat to the essence of the 1973 masterpiece while sculpting a distinct mosaic of characters, landscapes, and themes. Yet, the resurrection of Chris MacNeil (played by Ellen Burstyn) from the inaugural installment, though steeped in nostalgia, slightly dulls the film’s newfound uniqueness.

For those hungering for entertainment laced with spine-chilling fear, “The Exorcist: Believer” doesn’t disappoint. However, for seekers yearning to rekindle the exact thrill experienced five decades ago, revisiting the original might prove more satisfying. The film’s resolution, while not disenchanting, ensures a culmination that reverberates long after the final credits roll.

Bonus Feature: 

Making a Believer

Ellen and Linda: Reunited

Stages of Possession

The Opening

Editing an Exorcism

Matters of Faith

Feature Commentary with co-writer/director David Gordon Green, executive producer Ryan Turek, co-writer Peter Sattler, and Special Makeup FX Designer Christopher Nelson