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Hebron High School News Online

The Hawk Eye

Hebron High School News Online

The Hawk Eye

The Horror-Verse: “The Exorcist: Believer” was unmemorable and underwhelming

Shehzil Imran and Maya Imran
“The Horror-Verse” is a blog in which I bring to light both the good and bad movies of the horror genre. If you too love horror movies, but hate wasting your time on the vast amount of sub-par ones, this blog is specifically catered to you.

The horror genre is full of mediocre exorcism movies that make me laugh from how horrible they are. However, I’m a big fan of the 1976’s “The Exorcist,” as its controversy and unsettling nature intrigues me. So when “The Exorcist: Believer” released earlier this month, I was thrilled to watch the film meant to connect the old with the new. 

“The Exorcist: Believer” revolves around children Angela (Lidya Jewett) asking her friend Katherine (Olivia O’Neill) to help her talk to her dead mother. The two secretly venture out into the woods to enact their plan before they go missing, reappearing a few days later. However, once the two are back with their families, their behavior is abnormal. 

Knowing “The Exorcist” paved the way for future exorcism movies, I was intrigued to see how “The Exorcist: Believer” would stand out from other films in the genre and live up to the original. Unfortunately, I should have known better than to believe such a task was achievable. 

“The Exorcist: Believer” consists of a phenomenal cast, with a top-notch performance from each actor, especially Jewett and O’Neill. The two actresses portrayed possession as effectively as possible, an entertaining act I commend them for. But, despite the refreshing performance in a category full of poor acting, it cannot overshadow the mediocrity and messiness of the movie itself. 

While coming up with new ideas can be difficult, there are still ways to implement classic horror elements in a memorable way — “The Exorcist: Believer” did not do this. Each jump scare and plot point felt predictable and on the nose. Though the possession of Angela and Katherine had disturbing moments, I simply was not impressed by the various underdeveloped sub-plots. 

The movie tried to cover differing religious journeys, clashing spiritual practices and cultural differences. While it makes sense why they attempted to tackle these aspects to contrast the histories of Angela and Katherine’s families, the big picture was less fleshed out by the end of an hour and 51 minutes. In fact, I had not even caught onto all the themes the movie attempted to portray until later when I listened to what other horror movie fans had to say. 

The concept of the film itself was not bad, and I understand what the directors had in mind. But, at the end of the day, that vision did not translate properly to the screen. It is rumored for there to be a second part in the works, and I can only hope the ultimate goal is to further develop those complex underlying themes so everything can come together. 

Regardless, “The Exorcist: Believer” was unmemorable, with little apart from the acting to make it unique due to an abundance of underdeveloped side plots. I would rate the movie a 6/10.

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About the Contributor
Shehzil Imran, Feature editor
Senior Shehzil Imran is the feature editor and this is her third year on staff. In her free time, she enjoys watching horror movies, writing and doing her makeup. 

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