‘The Exorcist: Believer’ replicates 1973 horror movie by leaving viewers ‘shaken to their core’: filmmakers

The Exorcist: Believer” is here to scare a new generation of horror fans.

The film’s director, David Gordon Green, and producer, Jason Blum, explained how excited they are to continue the story of the 1973 horror classic.

“The original is obviously a monumental classic film, from 50 years ago, and it holds up exactly how it did then today,” Green explained. 

“We’ve taken a lot of influence from that movie. There are some threads of nostalgia there, but then we also wanted to make sure our film felt contemporary, it felt relevant to today, to today’s culture — asking questions of spirituality and community, that our community is asking today.”

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Scene from "The Exorcist: Believer"

David Gordon Green and Jason Blum wanted to recreate the feeling of the original movie. (Universal Pictures)

One of the main things from the original film Blum felt was key to get right in the new movie “was the feeling” moviegoers had when they walked out of the theater in 1973 of being “shaken to their core” from what they had just seen. In his opinion, they “achieved that” by bringing Ellen Burstyn back, as well as casting Leslie Odom Jr. and Ann Dowd.

In their effort to “reinvent” the movie, they centered the plot around two girls, Katherine and Angela, who disappear into the woods, only to return three days later with no memory of what happened in those three days. As the girls continue to show signs of possession, one of their fathers calls on Chris MacNeil for help because she went through the same thing with her daughter 50 years earlier.

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Aside from Burstyn, Dowd and Odom Jr., the movie also stars Jennifer Nettles, Raphael Sbarge, Olivia O’Neill and Lidya Jewett.

When the original movie was released, audiences were reportedly walking out of theaters because it was too scary, with some even fainting and getting sick over what was on the screen. Aside from the original film, Green and Blum took inspiration from the horror movies that first sparked their interest in the genre.

A scene from "The Exorcist"

The original “The Exorcist” reportedly left people fleeing theaters and getting sick. (Warner Bros. Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

“‘The Shining’ was always something that was always the taboo,” Green said. “I was 5 years old when it came out. I probably saw it when I was 10 or 12.”

“‘Friday the 13th.‘ I was too young, I saw it alone. I didn’t see a horror movie for a long time after I saw it, and it really, really upset me,” Blum said. “I also think that it did something to my DNA, and it got me compelled by horror. It was amazing that you could watch a movie, and it could have that kind of effect for such a long time.”

Blum is the founder and CEO of Blumhouse Productions, a production company that produces high-quality movies on a tighter budget. The company has produced many successful films in the horror genre, including “Paranormal Activity” and its sequels, “Insidious” and its sequels, “The Purge” and its sequels, “Hush” and the three most recent “Halloween” movies and “M3gan.”

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“The Exorcist: Believer” was originally scheduled to release Oct. 13, which happens to be Friday the 13th, the optimal date to release a horror movie. Plans changed however when Taylor Swift announced she would be releasing the Eras Tour concert movie the same day.

Taylor Swift and Jason Blum split

Blum felt compelled to move the premiere date of “The Exorcist: Believer” to avoid going up against Taylor Swift. (Getty Images)

“Obviously, we moved off that [date], and we bowed our head to Taylor Swift,” Blum told Entertainment Weekly in September. “It was too risky to see if ‘Exorswift’ was going to take or not. People will still have the Exorswift opportunity, so maybe we got to have our cake and eat it too.” 

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“The Exorcist: Believer” is scheduled to release in theaters Oct. 6.

Fox News’ Ashley Dvorkin contributed to this report 

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