Movie Review: The Exorcist: Believer

Written by: Harper Stull

Director: David Gordon Green

Rating: 3/5

The first Exorcist movie came out in 1973 and was such a hit that the franchise has since produced five more films. After an 18 year hiatus in the franchise, The Exorcist: Believer was released on October 6, 2023, bringing in $27.2 million on its opening weekend.

The Exorcist: Believer’s plot follows the typical Exorcist franchise plot structure. Middle school best friends Angela and Katherine venture into the woods to contact Angela’s dead mother, only for both of them to be possessed by a demon. In this sequel, screenwriters Scott Teems, Danny McBride, and David Gordon Green attempt to make the typical kids getting lost in the woods trope work fit within the Exorcist franchise through intense gore and religious themes.

Although this approach to the movie was creative, the execution was unsuccessful. The film moved incredibly slow and the ratio of scary scenes to normal scenes was very unbalanced. Though The Exorcist franchise has a reputation of producing spine-chilling movies that keep viewers as engaged as they are terrified, I was disappointed to find that the only exhilarating part of the movie was the climax. In addition, David Gordon Green’s subpar direction and the film’s lackluster screenplay made it difficult to follow what was going on in the film even when fully engaged. Supposedly pivotal scenes to the plot left me confused, dampening the impact of the film overall.

With all its flaws, The Exorcist: Believer is just another horror movie sequel. I would only recommend this film if you are trying to get into scary movies or enjoy The Exorcist franchise.