The Exorcist: Believer – The DVDfever Cinema Review – Ellen Burstyn

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The Exorcist: Believer… where to start?

This is technically a direct sequel to the 1973 The Exorcist – a film I didn’t like when I first saw it when I was younger, but did enjoy Mark Kermode’s documentary about it. However, back in June this year, it was on BBC1 and I got into it more than before. Then came a showing of the director’s cut at the cinema, just a week before this new movie… and while it is a bit daft in places, because certain bits don’t age too well, overall, it is a brilliant movie.

I wish I could say the same about this, although I understood that 1990’s The Exorcist III (which was okay) was meant to be a direct sequel to the original, so where does that leave Exorcist II: The Heretic? (which I haven’t seen)

Anyhoo, about the plot, and young couple Victor (Leslie Odom JrMusic) and Sorenne (Tracey Graves) are holidaying in Haiti. She’s pregnant, so, because this is a spooky film, they get a blessing on her bump from a voodoo practitioner… as you do. Alas, soon after, the hotel collapses in an earthquake, and the doctors confirm that only Sorenne or the baby can survive.

Fast-forward 13 years later, and you can even see from the trailer that he chose the baby, but as a teenager, daughter Angela (Lidya Jewett) and her friend, Katherine (Olivia O’Neill), go missing after trying to contact her dead mother via spiritual ways.

Beyond that, when it comes to demonic possession, lots of jump scares ensue, along with screaming and the ability to simply close doors just by looking at them – all the usual stuff, ahead of a double exorcism for the pair, either with the help of local priest, Father Maddox (EJ BonillaGemini Man 3D HFR) or without.

Along the way, Victor also seeks out Chris MacNeil (Ellen BurstynPieces Of A Woman), because of her experience with Regan, fifty years ago, but can she help stop what’s happening? Either way, an utter load of gibberish follows. Jeez, didn’t they watch the original and realise what a mess they were making?

David Gordon Green’s recent Halloween Trilogy was mediocre enough, but this sinks to much further depths of pointlessness.

I understand that Universal Pictures, together with Peacock, bought the distribution rights for this for $400 million, intending a new trilogy of films, with the next one, The Exorcist: Deceiver, due in April 2025, but while they’re having a “creative rethink” after this one has bombed, who on Earth releases a horror movie from an iconic franchise in the Spring?! Similarly, when the most recent Star Wars movies mostly came out just before Christmas, Solo: A Star Wars Story was shat out the door in May 2018!

I also had a question as to whether or not Regan (Linda Blair) might turn up, not knowing beforehand. You can find the answer to that in the video below…

The Exorcist: Believer is in cinemas now, and is available to pre-order on 4K Blu-ray, 4K Blu-ray Steelbook, Blu-ray and DVD.


Exorcist: Believer – Official Trailer – Universal Pictures

Detailed specs:

Running time: 111 minutes
Release date: October 6th 2023
Studio: Universal Pictures
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (ARRIRAW (4.5K, 3.8K))
Cinema: Odeon Trafford Centre
Rating: 1/10

Director: David Gordon Green
Producers: Jason Blum, David Robinson, James G Robinson
Music: Amman Abbasi, David Wingo
Screenplay: David Gordon Green, Peter Sattler
Characters: William Peter Blatty

Chris MacNeil: Ellen Burstyn
Miranda: Jennifer Nettles
Victor Fielding: Leslie Odom Jr
Angela: Lidya Jewett
Katherine: Olivia O’Neill
Sorenne Fielding: Tracey Graves
Ann: Ann Dowd
Pastor: Raphael Sbarge
Tony: Norbert Leo Butz
Cop: Ben Bladon
Jodea Maxwell: Chloe Traicos
Father Maddox: EJ Bonilla
Lamashtu: Lize Johnston
Stuart: Danny McCarthy
Father Phillips: Antoni Corone
Hannah: Norah Elin Murphy
Doctor Beehibe: Okwui Okpokwasili
Daniel: Chandu Kanuri
Catholic Choir Member: Emily Rachel Gordon
Detective Konik: Celeste Oliva