Don Reviews "The Exorcist: Believer"
There is really no debate that one of the best horror films of all time is The Exorcist. It is right up there with the original Halloween and the first two films in the Friday the 13th series, but unfortunately, all three of these franchises are filled with multiple mindless sequels that all needed to be killed off at a certain point. The only saving grace of any of them was the Halloween film in 2018 that came out of the blue that paid homage to original and showed what a real sequel should have been. So now, let’s see what happens with The Exorcist.
The Exorcist: Believer hits theaters this week directed by David Gordon Green, who did the Halloween film mentioned above and its sequel in 2021’s Halloween Kills with a cast that includes Lidya Jewett, Olivia O’Neill, Ellen Burstyn, Leslie Odom Jr., Ann Dowd, Raphael Sbarge, Antoni Corone, and Danny McCarthy. This time around, Victor (Odom Jr.) is a widower after losing his wife during a natural disaster but their child, Angela (Jewett), makes it through. Thirteen years later, Angela and her friend, Katherine (O’Neill), go missing after playing in the woods after school but are found three days later with no memory of what happened during that time. Both of the teens start to act differently to the point of possession, and the families have to work together to remove evil from their children.
There is not really much that I liked in this film. The makeup and costuming worked well alongside the visual style of the film itself, reminding me of the 1973 original. From an acting standpoint, both of the teens do a great job alongside some of the more seasoned actors given the limited experience between them.
I know this may be hard to believe, but at an hour and fifty minutes, The Exorcist: Believer is way too long. There is too much time trying to show the backstory and setting up things in the second act before we finally got to the climax. There is a lot in first half alone that could have been cut alongside a bunch of “jump scare” moments that could have been invested in true horror itself and was so predictable I honestly wanted to leave for some pea soup. Although I love what Green did with his Halloween films, he tried doing the same thing with another that carries the same level of fame and did not live up to it in the same way by trying too hard to lean into the material from the original film and add new things that wound up a jumbled mess. As a fan of horror films, I can unfortunately barely recommend seeing this film in a cable TV format.