Monday 30 October 2023

REVIEW: The Exorcist: Believer (2023) - Starring Leslie Odom Jr, Linda Blair and Ellen Burstyn

Review by Jon Donnis
"The Exorcist: Believer" takes the long-running and iconic horror franchise back to its terrifying roots in this sixth installment. Directed by David Gordon Green and co-written with Peter Sattler, the film offers a solid continuation of the original 1973 classic. While it doesn't reinvent the wheel in terms of the horror genre, it delivers a compelling and visually engaging story with a strong emphasis on faith and community. 

"Since his wife's death, Victor has raised his daughter Angela alone. After Angela and her friend return from a three-day disappearance with missing memories, they begin displaying frightening behavior. Victor's best hope is to find the only person who has seen anything like this before: Chris MacNeil, whose haunting experience with her daughter Regan may be the key to combating ultimate evil."

One of the film's standout features is its remarkable cinematography. Every frame is beautifully crafted and convincing, immersing the audience in the eerie and unsettling atmosphere of the story. 

The emphasis on faith and community as a means to rescue the oppressed is a strong theme throughout the film. This approach provides depth and substance to the narrative, making it more than just a run-of-the-mill horror flick. Leslie Odom Jr. delivers a commendable performance as Victor Fielding, and his character arc adds an emotional layer to the story.

However, "The Exorcist: Believer" does have its share of shortcomings. It struggles to introduce new ideas and scares, relying on some well-trodden horror tropes. While it effectively harks back to the original film, it misses an opportunity to bring something fresh to the franchise.

Additionally, one of the film's letdowns is the limited screen time for Ellen Burstyn as Chris MacNeil. Burstyn's presence is a significant draw for fans of the original movie, and her character deserved more exploration.

The film's plot, set in Haiti and Georgia, sets a captivating stage for supernatural horror. The story revolves around photographer Victor Fielding's struggle with faith after a tragic event in Haiti and his daughter Angela's possession, which she shares with her best friend Katherine. The narrative expertly weaves together elements of voodoo, possession, and a desperate quest for answers.

The cast, led by Leslie Odom Jr., Lidya Jewett, and Olivia O'Neill, is solid, with Linda Blair and Ellen Burstyn reprising their iconic roles. Their performances help maintain a connection to the original while allowing the new characters to shine.

In summary, "The Exorcist: Believer" is a competent addition to the franchise, effectively tapping into the essence of the original while exploring themes of faith and community. Despite some shortcomings in terms of originality and screen time for key characters, the film manages to deliver a satisfying horror experience for both long-time fans and new audiences alike.

With a score of 7.5 out of 10, it's a worthwhile addition to the Exorcist series.

In cinemas now, and also available on digital at
And available to pre-order on home entertainment at