The Exorcist: Believer Director Explains ‘Different Approach’ To The Reboot Than The Halloween Trilogy

 a posessed child and Michael Myers side by side
a posessed child and Michael Myers side by side

It’s a great time to be a horror fan. The genre’s renaissance shows no signs of slowing, with some of the best horror movies returning to theaters with sequels or reboots. Director David Gordon Green recently wrapped up a trilogy of new Halloween movies, which were super successful at the box office. He’s turning his focus on another iconic franchise with The Exorcist: Believer, which will see the return of Ellen Burstyn as Chris MacNeil. And Green recently explained the “different approach” to the Exorcist reboot compared to his Halloween movies.

David Gordon Green has proven himself capable of modernizing a classic horror franchise, so he seems like the perfect filmmaker to tackle The Exorcist: Believer (see the trailer here). But we shouldn’t expect that upcoming horror movie to feel like his Halloween trilogy. Green recently spoke to Empire about the key differences between the properties, saying:

The Halloween movies are in the slasher genre. They’re a place to play, and maybe have some campy fun. But this one was more researched and a bit academic. The narrative we were sculpting, and the relationships, were more dramatic. It’s a very different approach.

Touche. Slashers operate with their own set of rules, as the Scream franchise is often reminding us. They also leave the opportunity for comedic beats, and leaning into camp elements. But exorcism movies have to be deadly serious, including Exorcist: Believer. And I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out this October.

David Gordon Green’s comments to Empire come as the marketing campaign for his Exorcist movie is heating up. While movies like Dune: Part Two were delayed as a result of the strikes, it sounds like Believer is going to arrive in theaters for spooky season as planned. And it’s going to be a dramatic departure from what we saw in the last few Halloween films.

The Exorcist: Believer

Ellen Burstyn in The Exorcist: Believer
Ellen Burstyn in The Exorcist: Believer

Director: David Gordon Green

Writer: Peter Sattler, David Gordon Green

Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Leslie Odom Jr., Ann Dowd, Norbert Leo Butz, Jennifer Nettles

Release Date/Platform: October 13th in theaters.

Green is clearly a big horror fan himself, which is no doubt why he’s been tackling beloved franchises like Halloween and The Exorcist. Both of his recent reboots have been deeply connected to the original movies, and brought back iconic returning actors as legacy characters. And I’m curious to see how the scares of Believer will play out on the big screen.

The pressure is on for the new Exorcist movie to deliver. The 1973 original is still the thing of nightmares for an entire generation of moviegoers, even if younger folks don’t find it quite as scary. But smart money says David Gordon Green knows the way to bring together generations of fans for his sequel.

The Exorcist: Believer will hit theaters on October 13th. In the meantime, check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.