San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

‘The Exorcist: Believer’ possesses fans with boredom

A long-awaited return of a classic leaves disappointment
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Spooky season is here and with it, a brand new “Exorcist” movie has landed in theaters.

Dating back to 1973, the franchise has seen its ups and downs both critically and financially but has been brought back for a new generation of horror fans.

After suffering the passing of his wife 12 years ago, Victor Fielding (Leslie Odom Jr.) raises his daughter, Angela (Lidya Jewett) as a single father. When Angela and her friend, Katherine (Olivia O’Neill), decide to call upon Hell to see Angela’s deceased mother, they both disappear for three days before they are found in a barn. 

When they return to their homes, they have no recollection of what happened. The girls then start to endure pain and become possessed by demons. The events force Victor to figure out how to free the girls from possession. On his quest to search for answers, he turns to the one person who has experienced it all: Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn).

In horror films, the majority of the time and effort is often placed on the special effects and scares while the plot and characters are secondary. 

“The Exorcist: Believer” follows that formula with jump scares throughout the movie and standard special effects. 

Fans of the first film will get a pleasant surprise to see MacNeil return to save the girls but will be left disappointed with her role in the movie. She does provide insight on how to save them for Victor, but the current trend of bringing back an old character for a new generation in films loses its zip.

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Some of the rough parts of the film were the overlapping dialogue and preachy moments. 

There were times throughout the film when it was hard to understand what was going on, such as when the girls were taken to the hospital after they were found. Almost everyone in the movie was talking over each other and it was hard to hear what the characters were saying, making the focus of the scene get lost.

The context of preachy moments about religious faith gets hammered in the audience’s head. While it happened sporadically in the film, it was not subtle toward the last 30 minutes. 

The best moment of the film was the ending. The final 20 minutes were intense, nerve-wracking, scary and surprising, which made it engaging with the use of special effects and a shocking conclusion.

After waiting for a new “Exorcist” film since 2005, the long-awaited return to the franchise could be best described as mediocre. 

While fans of the franchise will be entertained by the scares, the return of an old character and the climax, general horror fans will be left wanting more. 

If audiences want to see if this will start the scary season on a high note, there will be disappointment. It is worth waiting to watch “The Exorcist: Believer” until the end of the season.