Art & Entertainment

‘The Exorcist: Believer’ Movie Review: A Different Take On Exorcism But Not Your Regular Scare Fest

Outlook Rating:
2.5 / 5

There have been numerous horror flicks in the ‘Exorcist’ franchise. The latest one, ‘The Exorcist: Believer’, has finally been released on OTT after having a successful run at theatres. Is the film worth the watch? Or can you simply skip it? Read the full movie review to find out.

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A Still From ‘The Exorcist: Believer’ Photo: Instagram
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After having a successful run at theatres, ‘The Exorcist: Believer’ has finally been released on OTT. The film has been the talk of town ever since it was released thanks to its different approach towards exorcism and exorcist films. It’s the 6th installment in the ‘Exorcist’ franchise. While none of the films I the franchise are related directly, but they’re all connected to the main idea of exorcism. This part is more like a direct sequel to the 1973 film, the first film in the franchise. The last installment in the franchise came out in 2005, and that made the wait for this part even more special as it was coming after almost 18 years. Here’s all you need to know about ‘The Exorcist: Believer’.

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‘The Exorcist: Believer’: Story

When two girls disappear into the woods and return three days later with no memory of what happened to them. When single father Victor Fielding’s daughter, Angela, and her friend Katherine, show signs of demonic possession, it unleashes a chain of events that forces him to confront the nature of evil. The single father seeks out Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn), who’s been forever altered by what happened to her daughter fifty years ago. Chris MacNeil is the only person alive who’s witnessed anything like it before. The rest of the story revolves around the two girls, the demonic possessions and the future course of action.

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‘The Exorcist: Believer’: Performances

Leslie Odom Jr. was good as the single father.  While he gave a solid portrayal, what was good about his performance is that he didn’t show signs of fear at any point. That feeling of strength is something that makes the character come out strong, which was much-needed for the character.

Lidya Jewett and Olivia O’Neill, the two little girls portraying the girls possessed by the demonic entities were the best part about the film. Both of their facial expressions not just at the climax but from the point they start showing signs of getting possessed are so immaculate that at times it makes you feel chills running down your spine. It’s their performance that holds the entire film together.

Ellen Burstyn was utterly wasted in a role that was too small for her stature. While the story hardly had any requirements to connect to the first film of the franchise, the makers used Ellen Burstyn just to give you that relatable connect to the 1973 film.

None of the other supporting characters have any stand out performance.

‘The Exorcist: Believer’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

The writing by Peter Sattler and David Gordon Green on the story by Scott Teems, Danny McBride and David Gordon Green was weak. Being a horror film it wasn’t able to bring on the scare fest feel that an exorcist film is associated with. Had the performances of the young girls been not up to the mark, the story would have been a total bore. The only thing that’s decent about the writing is that it took a different approach to exorcism and didn’t take the usual routes which have been used for ages in the franchise.

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As the director David Gordon Green tries to salvage a weak story but isn’t able to work his magic around that well. He does bring in some jump scares and some scenes where you’re trying to shut your eyes in horror, but besides those few scenes there’s hardly any other scene where you will be actually palpitating. He definitely got the climax correctly where he is able to keep you hooked till the last shot wanting to know what’s going to happen next.

The cinematography by Michael Simmonds is good. He has managed to not only showcase the locales in a way that you will feel have an eerie feeling, but he has also gotten the lighting very perfectly. As it’s a horror flick and most of the scenes are happening in the dark, there is hardly any scene where you’re unable to comprehend as to what’s happening when. The usage of lights was very nicely done.

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Tim Alverson’s editing was good. He managed to keep the film crisp and not exceed more than 2 hours. With a weak storyline, had the film been even longer, it would have made you lose total interest in what’s going to happen in the climax.

David Wingo and Amman Abbasi’s music isn’t something to be wowed about. It’s just about okay. Even if you’re watching with noise cancelling earphones, the background score doesn’t give you that scary haunted feeling. The film missed out a lot here as with some great background score, scenes which weren’t even that scary could have been made to feel very fearful.

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‘The Exorcist: Believer’: Cast & Crew

Director: David Gordon Green

Cast: Leslie Odom Jr., Lidya Jewett, Olivia O’Neill, Jennifer Nettles, Norbert Leo Butz, Raphael Sbarge, Okwui Okpokwasili, Danny McCarthy, EJ Bonilla, Linda Blair, Ann Dowd, Ellen Burstyn, Tracey Graves, Celeste Oliva, Lize Johnston

Available On: BookMyShow Stream, JioCinema, Amazon Prime Video, Zee5, Apple TV+

Duration: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

‘The Exorcist: Believer’: Can Kids Watch It?

Yes

Outlook’s Verdict

‘The Exorcist: Believer’ isn’t as good as the 1973 film, which is technically a direct prequel of this film. The performances of the two young girls definitely save the film. Besides that, it’s not that scary at all. Overall, it’s just about an Average film. I am going with 2.5 stars.

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