The Exorcist: Believer looks a lot like every other possession movie

The Exorcist is joining the long funeral parade of classic horror movies getting sequels with The Exorcist: Believer. The new movie from David Gordon Green, the director of the most recent, and extremely bad, Halloween trilogy, saw its first trailer last week ahead of certain Oppenheimer screenings, but it’s now online for everyone to see.

The trailer centers on the sudden and supposed exorcism of two different young girls. Both girls are placed in the hospital and exhibit symptoms of possession, but professionals are still weary to call it anything so supernatural. So the parents of the girls bring in an expert, Chris MacNeil, the mother from the original movie played once again by Ellen Burstyn. From there, the trailer devolves into one-note references of the original movie, including a strange picture of Reagan (Linda Blair) which appears to just be a wholesale rip of the post for Sarah T. — Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, another movie Blair was in. 5

As with any movie there’s still a chance that what’s really going on here is a bad trailer rather than a bad movie being advertised properly. But the real shame, at least based on this first look, is that it seems so similar to so many other movies about exorcisms and possessions. Half of the scenes in this trailer could have been from The Pope’s Exorcist and you’d barely know.

While most people only know the original Exorcist, it’s actually one of the best and most interesting horror series ever made. The first is, of course, a classic, but the second features a fascinating duel narrative that reflects in part on how Reagan dealt with her life after her possession. Meanwhile, the third movie is among the best, strangest, and most interesting supernatural horror films ever, featuring a demon serial killer stalking Washington DC. Finally, more or less, there’s the most recent movie, Dominion which follows Father Lankester Merrin (Stellan Skarsgård), the priest from the first movie, in his younger days during his first encounter with Pazuzu.

Each and every one of those movies is worth watching and interesting in its own way, but most importantly very unique. But hopefully when The Exorcist: Believer comes out on Oct. 13 it will be a pleasant surprise.


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