It’s no exaggeration to say that “The Exorcist” is one of the most iconic horror movies ever made. Known for reportedly scaring audiences into experiencing physical side effects like fainting and vomiting upon its release in 1973, William Friedkin’s demonic possession film made such a splash that it became the first horror film to be nominated for Best Picture (which has only happened five times since). Today, it holds up for its clever, terrifying special effects and significant pop-culture influence.
But for all its success, sequels to “The Exorcist” have struggled to live up to the source material. Several of them (such as 1977’s “The Exorcist II,” 2004’s “Exorcist The Beginning,” and 2005’s “Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist”) received notoriously bad reviews. Even the better attempts, like “The Exorcist III” or the short-lived TV sequel of the same name, have been unable to capture the public’s imaginations with the sheer force of the original.