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‘The Exorcist: Believer’ Review: Leslie Odom Jr. Stars And Ellen Burstyn Returns In Head Spinning Reboot With A Double Twist To 1973 Horror Classic
In the long history of horror films since the dawn of cinema, it would be hard to imagine any of them quite having the particular impact of 1973’s The Exorcist which became the first horror film ever to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, along with nine other nominations including Best Actress for Ellen Burstyn. It eventually won two Academy Awards for William Peter Blatty’s screenplay based on his 1971 novel, and for the bone chilling Sound work. When I saw it as a young kid in its original incarnation at the National Theatre in Westwood (now no longer existing), there were lines like you have never seen wrapping completely around the block. Warner Bros. even put a nurse on duty in the lobby for those who passed out, no mere gimmick because it actually happened. Nothing I have seen since in the genre has matched that one for me, but it wasn’t for Hollywood not trying. There are countless imitations, even a couple of failed direct sequels including the dreadful 1977 followup, Exorcist II: The Heretic, and the forgettable Exorcist III: Legion in 1990. There have been TV series attempts, an origin angle with Exorcist: The Beginning in 2004, and countless others using the come-on Exorcist in their title. Earlier this year we even had another film, based on the Vatican’s longtime real life demon slayer, The Pope’s Exorcist which thanks to a dedicated performance by Russell Crowe worked quite well on its own terms