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Compelled To Believe: A Brief Discussion of The Exorcist: Believer First Trailer

Image Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Funnily enough, the whispers of a trailer for The Exorcist: Believer appearing during screenings of Oppenheimer has caused me to turn my head in sheer curiosity. After what has felt like a long wait, Blumhouse finally released the trailer today. The nearly 3-minute trailer is an impressive showcase of the new film that compelled me to believe in its potential.

Part of this comes down to its approach. It has an underhanded eerie atmosphere whereby the premise of two missing girls who are found and subsequently display signs of demonic possession is allowed to slowly unfold. In fact, The Exorcist: Believer trailer plays notes from the original Exorcist‘s iconic “Tubular Bells” track (a few notes at a time) until the reveal of Chris McNeil (Ellen Burstyn). With this approach, the horror is slowly seeped and felt by the audience as opposed to being bludgeoned by it.

One of the possessed girls walks in on a full service at a local church.
The result is images that have already made an indelible impression on me. The highlight is one of the possessed girls walking in upon a full service at a Church, whispering and then shouting, “The body and the blood.” The use of long shots juxtaposed with medium shots of bewildered onlookers combines to create something bone-chilling.

The rest of the trailer provides interesting breadcrumbs for what the film could be about. In particular, the word “Mother” keeps repeating (not only in reference to Chris McNeil) but also to one of the girls possibly having lost her maternal figure. This is complemented by several flashes of images that show how much the situation is affecting the environment (including a moment of two dogs fighting).

This bodes well for the film possibly tapping into the ethereal power of the original and how the mundane was filled with a sense of uneasiness. The Exorcist: Believer releases on Friday, October 13.

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Written by Sartaj Singh

Notes from a distant observer:

“Sartaj is a very eccentric fellow with a penchant for hats. He likes watching films and writes about them in great analytical detail. He has an MA degree in Philosophy and has been known to wear Mickey Mouse ears on his birthday.”

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