The Exorcist: Believer: Movie Review

The Exorcist: Believer Movie Review: Test of Faith

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Our hopes were high, wanting desperately to believe that "The Exorcist: Believer" would breathe new life into the franchise that once defined the pinnacle of terrifying cinema five decades ago. Sadly, David Gordon Green's latest installment leaves us with another letdown, casting doubt on the future of this iconic series from its very first modern outing. While we didn't set our expectations too high for "The Exorcist: Believer," the film falls far short of what makes a great horror experience nowadays.

Two teenage girls mysteriously vanish in the woods, only to reappear three days later, believing it's only been a few hours. Initially, those around them attribute their strange behavior to coping with a traumatic event. However, it quickly becomes apparent that Angela (Lidya Jewett) and Katherine (Olivia O’Neill) are possessed by malevolent forces. Their parents, Angela's father Victor Fielding (Leslie Odom Jr.), and Katherine's parents, Miranda (Jennifer Nettles) and Tony (Norberto Leo Butz), find themselves locked in a battle against a demon to save their daughters' lives.

"The Exorcist: Believer" falters on several fronts. Most notably, it fails to deliver the expected thrills and chills that is iconic to its predecessor. While there are a couple of well-executed jump scares, the film leans heavily on exposition rather than genuine scares. Strangely, despite all the dialogue and explanations, the movie struggles to establish a meaningful connection with its diverse cast of characters. This disconnect proves crucial, as it prevents us from truly feeling the devastation of a family grappling with an unknown yet deadly affliction. It's ironic that a film attempting to explore the importance of human connections and community in the context of exorcism fails to establish that very human connection within "The Exorcist: Believer."

Ann Dowd and Leslie Odom Jr. deliver commendable performances, but they can only do so much with the material at hand. If there's one redeeming quality in "The Exorcist: Believer," it's the climactic exorcism scene. The atmosphere is genuinely eerie, immersing you in the moment. However, it, too, suffers from a lack of coherence and logic. In the end, "The Exorcist: Believer" tests our faith in the franchise and raises questions about its future prospects for revival. It falls short of capturing the essence of what once made this series iconic, leaving fans yearning for a more genuinely terrifying experience from other films out there. 

Rating: 1 and a half reels

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