Chaminade Silversword

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Chaminade Silversword

Chaminade Silversword

‘Exorcist: Believer’ Serves As ‘Creepy’ But Flawed Entry in Legendary Franchise

“The Exorcist: Believer” being watched in one of the Ward Titan theaters. (Photo by Tyler Felipe)

With five movies comprising “The Exorcist” franchise, the sixth and newest one, “The Exorcist: Believer”, looked to live up to the previous movies. While the film contained some creepy and exciting elements, “The Exorcist: Believer” comes up short to the previous movies.

“The Exorcist: Believer” follows a family that eventually falls victim to a demonic possession. Soon after it is followed up by, yes you guessed it, an exorcism. That is what the whole movie is about. As a standalone film, this would be considered an average and solid horror flick. But as a film in one of the well known horror franchises, the movie fails to live up to the name because there are too many flaws that bring the film down.

One glaring issue is the pacing of the film. The total runtime of the movie is just under two hours, which is typical for the horror genre. The problem is that the audience won’t see this demonic entity until almost an hour into the movie. After the audience does see the demonic entity, everything from that point feels rushed and leads to a predictable and chaotic climax. 

The most problematic aspect of the film is that it is not scary. If anything, the “The Exorcist: Believer” is creepier than it is scary. The choice of jump-scares was predictable and after a while, you come to expect them. While it did lack in being scary, the director and actors contributed to making the movie creepy. Through their physical movements and choices of imagery, the film managed to creep me out more than once.

Also, the film did use some techniques that the original movies made use of. These were mainly the choice of camera shots. Right after something creepy happened, the movie showed images of random objects. For me this was creepy and interesting. Was there meaning to these images? Was I supposed to connect the dots somehow? Another technique that was implemented like the original movies, was the shots of the demon. For brief seconds, the demon would appear on screen before quickly vanishing. 

While the movie struggled with those aspects, it did shine with the tie-ins to the original movie and some of the twists that the film contained. If you go into this movie without watching the very first film from 1973, the subtle nods to the original would go right over your head. But for those who watched the 1973 film, which includes me, these easter eggs are nice to see. The twists in certain moments of the story is something that the director did good with as well. The twists helped keep the audience engaged and made the film a bit more intriguing. Viewers would think one situation is going to turn out a certain way, but then it would be the complete opposite of what they were expecting. 

While “The Exorcist: Believer” wasn’t the best film of the franchise, I would still recommend it to people who just want to sit back and enjoy a good horror movie.