October is here and that means Halloween, scary movies, shorter days and trying those pumpkin carving skills. There’s always an influx of horror films around this time of year, Saw X and The Nun II recently dropped. Tomorrow there’s a double helping of terror, The Exorcist: Believer and Pet Sematary: Bloodlines open in theatres.

The Exorcist: Believer

While both films have storied histories, The Exorcist franchise is certainly the more prominent of the two. The original 1973 film is a revered classic, which many have tried to emulate. Subsequent sequels have struggled to match it, and it seems this latest instalment doesn’t quite hit the mark either.

A direct sequel to the original, The Exorcist: Believer once again features the demonic Pazuzu. This time around, however, two girls have been possessed, throwing their local town into chaos. Another tick in this sequel’s favour is the return of Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn who reprises her role as Chris MacNeil. The first time she’s ever done so.

However, early reviews aren’t positive, with The Exorcist: Believer currently tracking a 23% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This isn’t great, especially with comments like “Same Old Tropes, Minus the Dread” (Variety) and “Hellishly Bad Legacy Sequel” (IndieWire).

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Pet Sematary: Bloodlines

As an alternative, there’s always Pet Sematary: Bloodlines. The original film was based on Stephen King’s Pet Sematary (1983) novel, about the titular sematary that could bring the dead back to life. Although not in the way the characters hoped. This new instalment actually takes place before the first film, delving more into the Jud Crandall character and their early experience of the burial ground.

Pet Sematary: Bloodlines stars David Duchovny and Pam Grier but it seems they’ve not been able to elevate the prequel. Scoring lower than The Exorcist: Believer at 19% on the Rotten Tomato meter, The Guardian calls it a “pointless horror prequel”. While Mashable says the film: “feels like something that died, was buried, and then resurrected worse off than before.”

However, King’s own response is very different, praising its storytelling and performances on X (formerly Twitter). Considering he tends to be a vocal critic when it comes to adaptions, take from that what you will.

The Exorcist: Believer and Pet Sematary: Bloodlines both open on Friday, 6th October 2023.

Will you be going to see either of them? Let us know in the comments below.

Categories: Entertainment Movies