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‘You’re never gonna please every fan’: David Gordon Green sidesteps the hate train for ‘The Exorcist: Believer’

Critics don't really seem to 'believe' in the movie.

The Exorcist: Believer
Image via Blumhouse Productions

Unfortunately for fans of The Exorcist franchise and horror movies in general, the newest installment, The Exorcist: Believer is getting hammered by critics and sits at a lowly 21% on Rotten Tomatoes. Director David Gordon Green’s response? You can’t please them all.

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Green appeared on the Happy Sad Confused with podcast with host Josh Horowitz and touched on the issue and how hard it is to make a sequel to a beloved franchise like The Exorcist.

By the way, this isn’t Green’s first rodeo in terms of remaking horror movies. He’s had a lot of success with the Halloween reboots.

“You clearly are the man without fear,” Horowitz said. “Because taking on Halloween is one thing, and I love Halloween, [but] The Exorcist is not only one of the great horror movies of all time, The Exorcist is one of the greatest movies of all time period end of sentence. I will put it top ten among anything.”

Did doing Halloween prepare him for tackling The Exorcist?

Halloween, he said, put him in a position where he was able to handle “both success and rejection in a way that I hadn’t prior to that, because you’re never going to please every fan, because everybody’s walking into it with the nostalgia that they had, or some experience they had when they’re 14 years old, and you can’t trigger that for them anymore.”

All he can do now, he said, is “reach [out] to the new 14 year olds.” But it’s impossible to recreate a feeling that someone had during a vulnerable period of their life. It’s that period of life from 11 to 21, he said, that creates those experiences with film and art in general.

“You’ll love or hate it regardless just in terms of if our DNA connects at that moment but I got very comfortable with being me. I got very comfortable with telling my story in the sandbox that was sacred and making it personal to me.”

That attitude is going to be especially necessary after some of these reviews. Jake Coyle from the Associated Press said the movie “never manages anything like the deep terror of the original, and the film’s climactic scenes pass by with a lifeless predictability. Been there, exhumed that.” Woof.

Rafer Guzman from Newsday said it’s “likely to be met with deep, steady snores.” Ouch.

Anyway, if you want to see the movie for yourself it’s in theaters tomorrow!