The Exorcist is one of the most iconic horror movies ever. In fact, it’s an iconic movie period. Unfortunately, none of the sequels have really captured the magic of the original.

The director, William Friedkin, was right off of the absolute classic The French Connection. He was just one part of the equation though. William Peter Blatty’s novel of the same name had just been published in 1971, and the novel flew off the shelves. Friedkin’s film won multiple Oscars and Golden Globes.

Unfortunately, every sequel to the original movie has either received middling feedback or been panned outright — including the new The Exorcist: Believer which opens this weekend and has gotten absolutely brutal reviews. Let's go ahead and check out exactly how these shake out on Rotten Tomatoes (with their critics and audience ratings):

  • The Exorcist —  89% / 91%
  • Exorcist II: The Heretic 09% / 13%
  • The Exorcist III — 58% / 57% 
  • Exorcist: The Beginning — 11% / 27%
  • Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist — 30% / 25%
  • The Exorcist: Believer — 23% / TBD
Exorcist II: The Heretic
Warner Bros.

READ MORE: A Company Paid Critics For Rotten Tomatoes Reviews

As you can see above, most of the movies in the franchise have brutally low scores. That being said, The Exorcist III has been reappraised to a certain degree and is gaining steam as a cult classic. That's mostly due to Brad Dourif's stellar performance as the Gemini Killer.

The only exception here is The Exorcist TV show that ran on television from 2016 to 2017. That project has an 89 percent critic score, with an impressive 91 percent audience score. If you're a fan of the franchise, that’s probably the one to check out.

On the other hand, the new Exorcist by director David Gordon Green is receiving some pretty disappointing feedback. Most of the criticism claims that the film tries really hard to stick close to the original movie, while also not reaching the same highs. There are supposed to be two more Exorcist sequels on the way, so only time will tell how the trilogy turns out.

Matt Singer wrote in ScreenCrush’s review...

Believer swiftly descends into bad horror movie hell. Although I have no first-hand knowledge about the production, it appears that this Exorcist may have been heavily truncated and reworked in post-production — most obviously in a scene where Burstyn delivers a two-minute monologue almost entirely off-screen while the camera focuses on an endless closeup of Odom’s face.

The Exorcist: Believer opens in theaters tomorrow.

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Gallery Credit: Matt Singer

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