Directed by: David Gordon Green
Distributed by: Universal Studios
Written by Alexander Reams
“The Exorcist: Believer” seems to be confirmation that David Gordon Green doesn’t have anything left to say. And it’s heartbreaking, he’s moved within television and film with ease, giving audiences iconic comedies, indie films that are still being talked about today, and even revived the “Halloween” franchise. Sadly, Green is now mostly known as the hired hand for horror reboots.
Before a script was even written, Universal spent $400 million to acquire the rights to the “Exorcist” franchise. So a lot was riding on Green to deliver a product that would hopefully make it all worth it. In a way the film feels very self-sabotaging, whenever intrigue is built up, it’s quickly taken away. Leslie Odom Jr. stars as Victor Fielding, a photographer who loses his wife in an earthquake, and eventually his faith. Victor’s daughter Angela grows up and one day while at school, she, and her friend Katherine decide to go into the woods. They then disappear for three days, and this is the one time it feels like Green is in control, the chaotic frenzy is captured skillfully, and the tension built never waivers.
Of course, being a horror-possession film, the girls are found to be possessed by a demon once they’re found, and it all goes to hell (literally). “The Exorcist: Believer” takes the possession concept and then does nothing with it. Ellen Burstyn reprises her role as Chris MacNeil, and her presence in this film doesn’t make much sense, she’s used in the same role as Lankester Merrin (Max von Sydow) in the original “Exorcist.” This narrative choice turns Chris into a shell of herself, and Burstyn is left to do little more than look angry when she isn’t delivering lines. It’s a hard pill to swallow that the same director who made the glorious “Halloween Kills” also made the abomination that is “The Exorcist: Believer.”
“The Exorcist: Believer” Trailer