/Exorcist Sequel Slammed With Horrific Fan Reactions, Reviews After $400M Gamble

Exorcist Sequel Slammed With Horrific Fan Reactions, Reviews After $400M Gamble

The Exorcist: Believer” director David Gordon Green is getting skewered on social media.

Reviews for his anticipated legacy sequel to William Friedkin’s 1973 classic were suspiciously embargoed until Wednesday, when fan concerns about a lackluster film were seemingly proven right. The film earned a 23% score on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

“‘The Exorcist: Believer’ is a hellishly bad legacy sequel made even worse by its weird anti-abortion messaging,” IndieWire film critic David Ehrlich wrote Wednesday on X, formerly Twitter. “A catastrophic start to David Gordon Green’s $400 million reboot trilogy.”

Universal Pictures reportedly spent that huge sum for the rights to a new trilogy in 2021, with producer Jason Blum hiring Green — whose “Halloween” films received increasingly poor reviews — for what is now already being deemed an unholy trinity.

“The riskiest movie I have ever made for sure is not out yet,” Blum told IndieWire in March. “It’s ‘The Exorcist.’ Just because it’s so expensive. Usually the bar to success on everything we do because it’s inexpensive is incredibly low. For ‘The Exorcist,’ it’s high.”

Blumhouse Productions has established itself as a powerhouse of low-budget films that often receive critical acclaim. Most — including “M3GAN,” “Freaky,” and “The Hunt” — are original projects that give promising filmmakers free rein, rather than sequels to iconic films that fans hold near and dear.

“If #TheExorcistBeliever is the start of a trilogy, I’m already checked out,” one critic wrote on X. “It’s not without its scares (although it’s mostly jump scares), but … Green’s … choices are just baffling. A middle finger to the original.”

Frustrated fans have since unloaded on the filmmaker for apparently squandering his shot at reviving the franchise. One user on X put it plainly: “Who was in charge of giving David Gordon Green 400 million dollars to make an Exorcist trilogy.”

“David Gordon Green had three chances to make a Halloween sequel and made a piece of junk each time, so they thought it would be a good idea to spend over half a billion for him to make three Exorcist sequels,” another person wrote on the platform.

Another user on X suggested the director “be banned from ever making horror movies again” and hoped the planned trilogy would not come to fruition.

Horror producer Jason Blum (right) hired David Gordon Green (left) to direct the planned "Exorcist" trilogy after securing the rights in 2021.
Horror producer Jason Blum (right) hired David Gordon Green (left) to direct the planned “Exorcist” trilogy after securing the rights in 2021.

Ethan Miller via Getty Images

Green’s “Halloween” (2018) reboot was largely well-received and maintains a 79% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Initially planned as the first of two films, Greene later opted for a trilogy. “Halloween Kills” (2020) sits at 39%, while “Ends” (2022) — the most divisive — is at 40%.

“David Gordon Green, not content with mining the ‘Halloween’ franchise for a trilogy of uneven follow-ups, has returned to visit the same fate on one of the highest-grossing films of the 1970s,” wrote New York Times film critic Jeannette Catsoulis in her review.

While some fans suggested Green must have never even watched the original “Exorcist” — which retains an 87% score from more than 250,000 ratings on Rotten Tomatoes — the native Texan had espoused his deep love for it in multiple recent interviews.

“I had seen many horror movies, but this felt almost like a documentary,” he told Gizmodo on Tuesday. “It felt really authentic…So bringing a clinical authenticity to that, I thought, was important. We took that idea and translated it into our movie.”

Horror films are typically unaffected by negative reviews at the box office, and “Believer” is no different: It’s reportedly heading for a franchise best of $30 million to $35 million this weekend.

Read more reactions to the film below:

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