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The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

‘The Exorcist: Believer’ disappoints horror fans


“What an excellent day for an exorcism,” or in the case of horror movie fans, to watch “The Exorcist: Believer.” The newest addition to the Exorcist franchise premiered in theaters on Oct. 5. The result will have you wishing the movie stayed in hell with its demon antagonists. 

“The Exorcist: Believer” revolves around the demonic possession of two young girls. After an ill-fated trip to the woods, Angela and Katherine begin exhibiting strange and unnatural behaviors. The girls start speaking in tongues, gaining supernatural strength and seeing visions of the demon, Lamashtu. 

Angela’s father, Victor, races to find a cure for his daughter before the demon traps her soul in hell. Victor’s search leads him to the doorstep of Chris MacNeil, the main character of the classic horror film, “The Exorcist.” 

The issue with “The Exorcist: Believer” is that the film relies on horror fans’ love for the original. The newest addition brings nothing new to the tired franchise.   

“The Exorcist” tells the story of Chris MacNeil, whose daughter Regan becomes possessed by the demon Pazuzu. MacNeil requests the help of Catholic priests, Father Karras and Father Merrin, to perform an exorcism. 

What made “The Exorcist” so frightening was its taboo subject matter. Released in 1973, the film created a new subgenre of horror films that focused on demonic possession and Catholic rituals. Director William Friedkin did not rely on jumpscares or horror tropes to frighten audiences. Instead, he created a subtle atmosphere of horror through award-winning sound editing, obscene dialogue and conflicted characters. 

“The Exorcist: Believer” has all the makings of a decent horror movie. The film features enough body horror and gore to keep the audience entertained for its two-hour runtime. A few gruesome, bloody scenes will turn a squeamish viewer’s stomach into split pea soup.  

Composers David Gordon Green and Amman Abbasi created a score that built on the iconic theme often associated with the franchise. 

Leslie Odom Jr. does a phenomenal job portraying Victor, a grieving father hoping to save his only child. His performance masterfully displays Victor’s skepticism about his daughter’s possession. 

Hopefully, the negative reviews will prevent executives from greenlighting another “The Exorcist” reboot. 

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