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Tuesday, December 5, 2023
December 5 , 2023

REVIEW: “The Exorcist: Believer” released just in time for spooky season

‘Tis the season! Spooky season, that is, and Blumhouse Productions is calling all horror lovers to watch “The Exorcist: Believer.”

“The Exorcist: Believer” is the sixth installation of the infamously devilish movie franchise. However, unlike the other movies, this film is directly related to the original “The Exorcist” of 1973, and the parallels are simply undeniable.

Co-protagonists Angela and Katherine directly mirror Regan’s demonic possession in the “The Exorcist: Believer.” Horror fans will feel déjà vu when they see the pair of best friends begin deteriorating just like Regan.

The parallels between Angela and Katherine’s and Regan’s possession makes it no surprise that the demon — you guessed it — is the same one. In “The Exorcist: Believer,” this hellish fiend revels in terrorizing Regan’s mother, who after becoming an expert on demonic possession, is sought out by Angela’s father to assist in the exorcism.

There are countless similarities between “The Exorcist: Believer” and “The Exorcist,” and references to the original film, but I won’t spoil the fun. I will say, however, that this movie was pleasantly surprising with regard to quality.

The cinematography from the start was mesmerizing, which became terrifying as the film went on. Like “The Exorcist,” the film employed a cinematography technique called psychorama, meaning the images flashed so quickly that the conscious mind could not comprehend them. In the original 1973 film and in this one, this technique is used to instill fear and apprehension.

Meticulous use of sound effects throughout the film made it even more tense and horror-inducing. The audio emphasized realism, with identifiable background noises included in every shot. Coupled with the theater’s surround sound, I felt like I was inside the film.

Both the visual and auditory effects were facilitated by the modernization of film technology. But, the modern age affected more than just the technical quality of the film.

In film and in reality, mental illnesses have historically been mistaken by religious people as demonic possession and exorcisms were encouraged. In this film, however, this precedent is reversed — the church refused to sanction the exorcism and instead encourages psychiatric help. This switch modernizes the story without compromising the plot of the original “Exorcist.”

“The Exorcist: Believer” is an excellent film to kick off the Halloween season, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Horror buffs are sure to enjoy the parallels, and non-horror buffs — prepare to be scared.

Catch “The Exorcist: Believer” in theaters at The Landmark in Merrick Park or AMC Sunset Place 24, or on streaming platforms later this month.

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