MOVIESExorcist: Believer

Exorcist: Believer Backlash Is So Bad That The Sequel Is Changing


In the shadowy corridors of horror cinema, The Exorcist franchise has long stood as a towering entity, its demonic narratives and chilling sequences haunting audiences for decades. The recent release, Exorcist: Believer, sought to rekindle the sinister flame of its predecessors, yet found itself engulfed in a tempest of critical and public disapproval. The film, which was unleashed upon audiences last weekend, has been met with a response so overwhelmingly negative that it has sent shockwaves through the very foundations of the planned trilogy.

The Hollywood Reporter illuminated the general sentiment, revealing that viewers largely felt the new instalment fell woefully short of the original film’s excellence. With a box office performance that failed to match the investment and expectations, the creators are now faced with a daunting task: navigating through the abyss of criticism and steering the sequel, Exorcist: Deceiver, towards redemption and perhaps, resurrection.

A Spirited Attempt to Revive a Classic


Credit: Universal Pictures

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Revisiting the Terrifying World of The Exorcist

Exorcist: Believer was envisioned as a sequel to the original 1973 movie, The Exorcist, and even saw the return of Ellen Burstyn, a star from the original film. It was intended to be the first of a trilogy, reanimating the Exorcist franchise with fresh narratives while paying homage to its roots. However, the film’s inability to conjure the same level of terror and narrative depth as its iconic predecessor has left fans and critics alike in a state of disillusionment.

Financial and Critical Disappointment

Despite earning more than any other Exorcist movie before it, Exorcist: Believer only managed to scrape together just over $44 million on its opening weekend, a figure that is particularly disheartening when considering the substantial investment poured into its creation. The financial stakes were high, with Universal purchasing the rights to the horror franchise for a staggering $400 million, a price that included streaming rights on Peacock and a special exhibit at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights.

The Unsettling Reality of Audience and Critical Response


Credit: Universal Pictures

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A Symphony of Criticism

Critics have lamented the film’s lack of originality and over-reliance on scare tactics from the original. Some have branded Exorcist: Believer as “superficially competent” and “hella disappointing”, indicating a failure to innovate or provide a fresh perspective to the established “Exorcist” narrative.

A Sequel’s Uncertain Future

The sequel, Exorcist: Deceiver, which is slated for release in April 2025, is now shrouded in uncertainty and apprehension. The script for the next movie is reportedly complete, but the dismal response from moviegoers to Believer necessitates a recalibration of the creative compass.

The Path Forward: Reshaping Exorcist: Deceiver


Credit: Universal Pictures

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Reevaluating Creative Directions

The creators, potentially reeling from the backlash, are now tasked with a significant overhaul of their approach to Exorcist: Deceiver. The need to diverge from the path treaded by Believer is evident, and the forthcoming instalment will need to not only address the criticisms but also rediscover the sinister allure that once defined the franchise.

The Potential for Redemption

With Halloween on the horizon, Exorcist: Believer may yet find a semblance of redemption in terms of numbers, as films released around this dark holiday often enjoy a longer earning window. However, the sequel will need to unearth a new narrative and creative direction to entice and engage audiences, ensuring the future viability of the franchise.

Final Thoughts on Exorcist: Believer and its upcoming sequel


Credit: Universal Pictures

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The spectral echoes of Exorcist: Believer’s reception linger ominously over the future of the Exorcist franchise. The creators, now faced with the spectral remnants of disappointment and criticism, must delve deeper into the abyss of horror creativity, seeking new, terrifying narratives that can resurrect the series from its current purgatorial state. The sequel, Exorcist: Deceiver, now bears the weight of not only its own narrative but also the redemption of a franchise that has become momentarily lost in the shadows.

The path forward is shrouded in both challenge and opportunity. The creators have the chance to listen, learn, and leverage the criticisms of Believer to forge a sequel that not only rectifies the missteps of its predecessor but also re-establishes the Exorcist franchise as a dominant entity in the horror genre. Only time will reveal whether Exorcist: Deceiver can exorcise the demons of its predecessor and lead the franchise into a new era of horror, captivating audiences with a fresh, yet nostalgically terrifying, cinematic experience.

The Exorcist: Believer saga serves as a stark reminder that the resurrection of classic franchises must be approached with a delicate balance of reverence for the original and innovative storytelling to captivate contemporary audiences. The forthcoming sequel, Deceiver, now carries the formidable task of rekindling the dark, enigmatic flame that once defined The Exorcist, ensuring that the sinister allure of the franchise is not exorcised from the memories of horror aficionados.

In the shadowy realms of horror cinema, the iconic scary franchise has the potential to rise once more, transcending its current tribulations and re-establishing its dominion within the genre. The spectral echoes of its past successes linger, whispering of the possibility for redemption and resurgence, should the creators navigate through the criticism and rediscover the malevolent spirit that once defined it. The audience, albeit critical, may yet be willing to embark on another chilling journey, should Deceiver prove capable of conjuring the terrifying magic that once defined its predecessor.

What do you make of this news? Do you think they’ll end up making this sequel?

You can watch Exorcist: Believer in cinemas worldwide right now.