William Friedkin’s The Exorcist opened the horror genre to new possibilities. It became one of the most revered films when it was released back in 1973. The instant reaction from the public ensured that The Excircist’s legacy lived on until the advent of digital media. David Gordon Green’s direct sequel to the original, The Exorcist: Believer (2023), recently came out in theatres. Although the film did great business, it paled in comparison. The quality of filmmaking, the lack of surprises in the story, and the inherently unimaginative realization of the premise became the chief reasons for its downfall.

However, the film does pack a lot of surprises in its plot. A lot of explosive details do add spice to the storytelling. You’ll be entertained to no end if the gory stuff is to your liking. Ellen Burstyn and Linda Blair also make cameo appearances in Believer. However, they aren’t given significant attention, and the filmmakers use their legacy as a dupe to support the main story. Here is an ending explainer for The Excircist Believer, elaborating upon whom the Demon chose and why.

The Exorcist: Believer (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

The sequel to The Exorcist is set in the present day in the same cinematic universe. The main focus of the plot is on Victor Fielding and his wife, Sorenne. She becomes pregnant soon after her marriage and while honeymooning in Haiti. But it comes at one of the worst times the country has ever experienced. A massive earthquake wreaks havoc. Sorenne is in a bad state, and it falls upon Victor to make a decision: save the baby or his wife.

We have a time jump from around 2010 to the present day, when Victor lives alone with his daughter, Angela. He seemingly chose to save her. Although they are close, Victor is not the same person. It is indicated that the decision still weighs heavily on his conscience, ensuring that he has lost all faith in God. Angela ventures into the woods one day with her friend, Katherine.

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The two girls are curious about the netherworld and perform a dangerous seance in an attempt to contact Sorenne. However, things go awry, and the girls go missing. They remain absent for nearly three days, after which they’re found with no plausible physical or mental damages. All of these occurrences are strange. But what comes next shakes everything up.

The girls become possessed by a powerful Demon. Ann, a nurse, and Victor’s neighbor, theorizes that It came back through them when they went into the realm of the dead. Katherine’s parents, Miranda and Tony join forces with Ann and Victor to get back their girls. Chris MacNeil, who faced a similar situation with her daughter Regan in 1973, prepares them for a diverse cultural exorcism to save Angela and Katherine’s lives.

Why does Chris insist that the exorcism use different traditions?

The Exorcist Believer (2023) Movie Ending Explained - HOF
Ellen Burstyn and Leslie Odom Jr. in The Exorcist: Believer (2023)

Chris is really taken to the task by a possessed Katherine. In the film’s universe, she is a successful and influential public figure who has authored many books on the subject of exorcism. Once she tries to usurp the demon in the decade-old way popularized by films – chanting and shouting verses from the Bible with a cross in her hand – Chris gets stabbed in the eyes by Katherine. She is alive but is blinded by the move.

When Victor and the others are making up their minds about the exorcism, Chris suggests to them they use different traditions in the ceremony. This is primarily because the Church has refused to help the families. They have not given their permission for the ritual to happen. According to them, the girls are suffering from a psychiatric disorder and require therapy to get well. It is a common theme we see in many films, which basically manifests the Church’s fears of getting unnecessary scrutiny.

The Exorcist: Believer (2023) Movie Ending Explained:

The final exorcism takes place at Victor’s house. As advised by Chris, a number of different pastors participate in the ritual. However, none of them have any synergy or any idea of how to proceed. The entire sequence is more bemusing than it is tense. The girls are tied to a chair – like that is what’s going to hold them back, as the generic prayers and chants are used. The demon targets Ann and Victor for their pasts. With Ann, the accusations are about how she once had a secretive abortion and her sacrilegious acts while at the novitiate.

The most significant revelation comes when the demon targets Victor. It is revealed that Victor did not choose to save Angela. He chose Sorenne, but due to medical complications, she succumbed. Angela was saved by the doctors. The current situation is quite tricky since the part of Angela that is really her will not have the strength to fight for her place after learning this. Next, the demon gives the parents a choice between their daughters. Only one of them can be saved, while the other will be taken back by the demon to Hell. Father Maddox briefly intervenes, but his stint is short-lived as the demon kills him.


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The mutual decision not to make a choice holds good for a bit. Eventually, though, Tony, Katherine’s father, loses his determination and chooses her. At that moment, Angela flatlines and dies. However, as the famous Twin Peaks episode foretold, making a deal with the devil is never a prudent decision. The demon used a trick. He did not tell them that the girl whose name is taken will be condemned to Hell. Since Tony took Katherine’s name, the demon drags her to the other realm, and Angela is spared.

In a flashback, we see Sorenne giving Angela a protective blessing. In the present, that blessing and Sorenne’s fold scarf come in handy to wade off the demon’s grasp and bring Angela back to life. The ending of The Exorcist Believer sees Angela’s life being spared. She laments the loss of her best friend, indicated by the empty chair at school. It is unclear what happens to Tony and Miranda, who must be devastated and heartbroken. We will have yet another sequel follow-up released in 2025 titled The Exorcist: Deceiver.

Trailer:

The Exorcist: Believer (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia, Letterboxd
Cast of The Exorcist: Believer (2023) Movie: Leslie Odom Jr., Lidya Jewett, Olivia O’Neill, Jennifer Nettles, Norbert Leo Butz, Ann Dowd, Ellen Burstyn
The Exorcist: Believer (2023) Movie Genre: Horror/Mystery & thriller, Runtime: 1h 51m
Where to watch The Exorcist: Believer

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