‘The Exorcist’ Sequel Bombs at Test Screening, Could Change Halloween Horror Nights

in Universal Orlando

Credit: Universal

A new Universal horror venture is not going as planned – and the effects could change some rumored plans to Halloween Horror Nights.

Horror fans are gearing up for a new installment to a classic horror franchise this October. Blumhouse Productions, the studio behind modern horror giants like The Purge, Insidious, M3gan (2022), and more, is planning on releasing The Exorcist: Believer on October 13, 2023. The film serves as a direct sequel to the classic The Exorcist (1973), which in turn is based on the William Peter Blatty novel of the same name. This would be the sixth installment of the franchise overall.

The priest tending to Reagan in The Exorcist (1973)
Credit: Warner Bros.

The new film, which stars Leslie Odom Jr., Ellen Burstyn, and Ann Dowd, follows the father of a possessed child, desperate for help, who turns to someone who has had similar experiences – Chris MacNeil (Burstyn), Reagan’s mother from the first film. The film is directed by David Gordon Green with a story by Green, Scott Teems, and comedian Danny McBride. Green and McBride have collaborated on horror films for Blumhouse before, such as the 2018 version of Halloween.

The Exorcist: Believer is also currently rumored to be a part of the 2023 “Horrors of Blumhouse” maze at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort, potentially pairing up with either M3gan or Insidious. However, a recent test screening in NYC could change this outcome.

The Horrors of Blumhouse logo from Halloween Horror Nights
Credit: Universal

Reactions from the test screening seem to be universally negative, according to World of Reel. Letterboxd reviews also reflect this, and although viewers seem to agree about the film’s quality, there’s a split on whether or not the film can be fixed with reshoots or not.

If the film is a commercial and/or critical flop, will that change things at Halloween Horror Nights? With some construction already beginning, it could be difficult to make a last-minute switch to a different film should The Exorcist: Believer end up not working. However, with Blumhouse being a traditionally smaller tent maze and no official announcements on house content being made yet, Universal may have an opportunity to backtrack if they see fit.

The Universal arch lit up for Halloween Horror Nights
Credit: Universal

Hopefully, we won’t need an exorcism after seeing this film.

in Universal Orlando

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