The Exorcist Movies in Order: Unleashing spine-chilling horror and gripping audiences for decades, “The Exorcist Movies in Order” is an American media franchise that has left an indelible mark on the horror genre. The terrifying journey began with William Peter Blatty’s 1971 horror novel of the same name, which soon found its way to the big screen with a chilling 1973 film adaptation. Since then, this formidable franchise has spawned numerous prequels and sequels, all centered around the nightmarish concept of individuals possessed by the malevolent Pazuzu, the series’ primary antagonist. With relentless intensity, the films delve into the harrowing efforts of religious authorities as they confront the forces of darkness and seek to banish the demonic presence.
The haunting tales have not only terrified but also captivated global audiences, amassing a staggering $661 million in box office revenue, while the novel itself has sold over 13 million copies worldwide. Not content with just dominating the silver screen, “The Exorcist” further expanded its haunting legacy with a well-received 2016 television series, serving as a worthy continuation of the original film. And now, as we approach 2023, fans can brace themselves for a new chapter in this enduring saga, as a highly anticipated reboot-turned-direct sequel to the iconic 1973 film is in development, set to be helmed by the talented David Gordon Green and released by Universal Pictures on October 13, 2023. So, let’s embark on a hair-raising journey through the twisted, terror-filled realm of “The Exorcist Movies in Order.”
The Exorcist Movies Film Series in Order to Watch (Story Chronology)
Original The Exorcist Movies Order:
- The Exorcist (1973)
- Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
“The Exorcist” (1973) is the seminal film that launched “The Exorcist” franchise, delivering an unforgettable and horrifying cinematic experience. Directed by William Friedkin and based on William Peter Blatty’s chilling novel, the movie follows the demonic possession of young Regan MacNeil. As her behavior becomes increasingly sinister and uncontrollable, her desperate mother seeks help from two priests, Father Merrin and Father Karras, who confront the malevolent entity within her. The film’s shocking and groundbreaking special effects, coupled with its exploration of faith and the battle between good and evil, made it an instant classic and a box office sensation. “The Exorcist” has since become a benchmark in the horror genre, leaving an indelible mark on pop culture and paving the way for the franchise’s subsequent prequels, sequels, and adaptations across various media.
“Exorcist II: The Heretic” (1977) continued the saga of “The Exorcist” franchise, but it took a different and divisive direction from its predecessor. Directed by John Boorman, the film picks up four years after the events of the first movie. Regan MacNeil, now a teenager, seeks therapy to overcome her traumatic possession. Father Lamont, played by Richard Burton, is sent to investigate the circumstances surrounding the original exorcism and to explore the concept of synchronicity. Uncovering links to the late Father Merrin’s past, Lamont finds himself on a perilous quest to confront Pazuzu once again.
Upon its release, “Exorcist II: The Heretic” faced harsh criticism and disappointed many fans who expected a direct follow-up to the horror masterpiece that preceded it. Despite its controversial reputation, the film has garnered a cult following over the years, with some appreciating its ambitious and unconventional approach. However, it remains a polarizing entry in “The Exorcist” franchise.
Altermate Exorcist Movie Order to Watch
- The Exorcist (1973)
- The Exorcist III (1990)
“The Exorcist III” (1990) resurrected the horror and intrigue of “The Exorcist” franchise, offering a return to the terrifying roots of the original film. Directed by William Peter Blatty, who also wrote the screenplay based on his novel “Legion,” the movie serves as a direct sequel to the first installment, ignoring the events of “Exorcist II: The Heretic.”
Set fifteen years after the initial exorcism, “The Exorcist III” follows Lieutenant William F. Kinderman, played by George C. Scott, as he investigates a series of gruesome murders that bear a disturbing resemblance to the modus operandi of the long-deceased Gemini Killer. Throughout his chilling pursuit, Kinderman encounters a surprising revelation involving a possession case from his past, leading to a harrowing confrontation with the malevolent forces that continue to haunt him.
Critically acclaimed for its atmospheric storytelling, gripping performances, and psychological horror, “The Exorcist III” rekindled the fear that the original film instilled in audiences. It demonstrated that a return to the franchise’s core elements could yield an unsettling and captivating experience, earning the film its place as a noteworthy installment in “The Exorcist” series.
The Beginning Order of The Exorcist Film Series
- Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)
- The Exorcist (1973)
“Exorcist: The Beginning” (2004) marked a new chapter in “The Exorcist” franchise, exploring the origins of the malevolent presence that haunted audiences for decades. Directed by Renny Harlin, the film serves as a prequel to the events of the original movie, offering insights into the early life of Father Merrin, portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård.
The story unfolds as Father Merrin is called to an archaeological site in Kenya, where a mysterious ancient church has been unearthed. As he delves deeper into the history of the sacred place, he discovers dark secrets and demonic manifestations that challenge his faith and confront him with the malevolent force known as Pazuzu.
“Exorcist: The Beginning” sought to shed light on the origins of the evil that tormented Regan MacNeil in the original film, providing a haunting and intense narrative. While the film garnered mixed reviews, it added depth to the franchise’s lore and expanded the sinister mythology surrounding Pazuzu’s existence.
Dominion Continuity of The Exorcist Order to Watch
- Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)
- The Exorcist (1973)
“Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist” (2005) offers an alternate perspective on the prequel story to “The Exorcist” franchise. Directed by Paul Schrader, this version of the prequel was created after the studio was dissatisfied with the initial cut of “Exorcist: The Beginning.” Instead of reshooting the entire film, they brought in Schrader to rework the material and create a new vision.
Set in the aftermath of World War II, the film follows Father Merrin, played by Stellan Skarsgård, who is haunted by the atrocities he witnessed during the war. He is sent to a remote archaeological site in Kenya, where a mysterious church has been uncovered. As he explores the site, he becomes entangled in a battle against ancient evil, leading to a confrontation with Pazuzu before the events of the original “Exorcist” film.
“Dominion” delves into the psychological and spiritual struggles of Father Merrin, offering a more introspective and character-driven take on the prequel story. While it received a more positive reception than “Exorcist: The Beginning,” both versions of the prequel provide intriguing insights into the origins of the malevolent force that set the stage for the haunting events of “The Exorcist” franchise.
Order of Exorcist TV Series Continuity
- The Exorcist (1973)
- The Exorcist (2016-2017)
“The Exorcist” (2016-2017) made a chilling return to television as a contemporary continuation of “The Exorcist” franchise. Developed by Jeremy Slater, this TV series served as a direct sequel to the original 1973 film, reimagining the horror for a new generation.
Set in modern times, the show follows Father Tomas Ortega, portrayed by Alfonso Herrera, and Father Marcus Keane, played by Ben Daniels, as they confront a disturbing case of demonic possession. Their journey leads them to the Rance family, where they encounter a malevolent entity targeting a vulnerable young girl, Casey Rance, played by Hannah Kasulka. As they delve into the sinister forces at play, they also grapple with their own inner demons.
“The Exorcist” series received critical acclaim for its sophisticated storytelling, compelling character development, and spine-tingling atmosphere. It successfully retained the essence of the original film while weaving a fresh narrative that captivated both fans of the franchise and new viewers alike. Though the show concluded after its second season, “The Exorcist” (2016-2017) left a lasting impression as a worthy and terrifying addition to the iconic horror saga.
Blumhouse’s The Exorcist Movies in Order to Watch
- The Exorcist (1973)
- The Exorcist: Believer (2023)
- The Exorcist: Deceiver (2025)
- Untitled The Exorcist film (TBA)
In July 2021, a trilogy of new Exorcist films was announced, two sequels were confirmed to be concurrently in development.
“The Exorcist: Believer” (2023) marks the next installment in “The Exorcist” franchise, promising to unleash a new wave of terror upon audiences. Directed by David Gordon Green, known for his work on the “Halloween” franchise, “Believer” is set to be a direct sequel to the original 1973 film, ignoring the events of the previous sequels and television series.
The Exorcist: Believer is scheduled to be released in the United States on October 13, 2023. It is intended to be the first of three new The Exorcist films. While work on the scripts for the two additional movies is ongoing. By July 2023, the movie was officially titled The Exorcist: Deceiver and slated for release on April 18, 2025.
With David Gordon Green at the helm, “The Exorcist: Believer” and “The Exorcist: Deceiver” are expected to breathe fresh life into the iconic franchise, honoring the legacy of the original while presenting a compelling and terrifying new chapter. As anticipation builds for its release, fans eagerly await the return of the spine-chilling horror that has defined “The Exorcist” series for generations.
How many The Exorcist Movies are there?
There are a total of SEVEN (7) “The Exorcist” movies. As of the current information available, there are five “The Exorcist” movies in the main series: “The Exorcist” (1973), “Exorcist II: The Heretic” (1977), “The Exorcist III” (1990), “Exorcist: The Beginning” (2004), and “Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist” (2005). Additionally, two future movies have been announced, titled “The Exorcist: Believer” (2023) and “The Exorcist: Deceiver” (2025), indicating the continuation of this iconic horror franchise. These films have captured the imaginations of audiences worldwide and continue to terrify and intrigue with their tales of demonic possession and spiritual battles between good and evil.
All The Exorcist Movies in Order of Release Date
Here is the list of The Exorcist films in order of release date:
1. The Exorcist — December 26, 1973
2. Exorcist II: The Heretic — June 17, 1977
3. The Exorcist III — August 17, 1990
4. Exorcist: The Beginning — August 20, 2004
5. Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist — May 20, 2005
6. The Exorcist: Believer — October 13, 2023
7. The Exorcist: Deceiver — April 18, 2025
1. The Exorcist — September 23, 2016 – December 15, 2017
“The Exorcist” franchise stands as a timeless and formidable force in the horror genre, captivating audiences with its nightmarish tales of demonic possession and the eternal struggle between good and evil. From the groundbreaking 1973 film that started it all to the various prequels, sequels, and television series, each installment has left an indelible mark on pop culture and cinema history. As the franchise continues to evolve with “The Exorcist: Believer” on the horizon, fans can expect a fresh dose of terror and intrigue. With its enduring legacy, “The Exorcist” remains a haunting and iconic presence that will continue to terrify and mesmerize for years to come.
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