The Exorcist: A Ranking of All Films in the Series


The 1973 horror film The Exorcist established a new standard by portraying Reagan, a young lady, overtaken by a supernatural creature, in a frightening and thought-provoking way. The Exorcist became known as among the most frightening movies of all time, in part due to its premiere during the peak of the demonic scare. By demonstrating how far graphic effects and content could go to create a narrative, both its aesthetics and discourse contributed to the birth of a new era in horror.

Since its debut, The Exorcist has given rise to a multi-film series. But what has emerged over the past few decades is a diverse franchise that has made heroic attempts to find something as compelling as the premiere film. While some were successful in holding the attention of the audience and evoking a sense of fear, others were not. So let’s look back on The Exorcist series to see which film was the best overall and which didn’t make an impression.



5 The Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)


The heretic from Exorcist II seems to have all the ingredients for success. It not only follows among the most popular movies of all time but Linda Blair also reprised her role as Regan, the demon’s prey. Yet, the outcome was utterly unworthy of a sequel. Regan’s journey is continued in the movie’s central storyline, exposing new evidence about the monster who controlled her. However, it transforms the devil into a villainous character and grants Regan psychic abilities rather than just using its magical elements when necessary. Even though the character is only 16 years old, Linda Blair’s adolescent Regan MacNeil has been strangely and unsettlingly transformed into a sex symbol. Worst of all, she nearly manages in luring a priest, the protagonist, into having sex. Even though Max von Sydow momentarily reprises his role of Father Merrin in recollections, the tale as a whole is rather confusing and falls well short of the terrifying fear seen in its predecessor. Alas, the majority of viewers thought the movie was absurd and anything but terrifying.

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4 The Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)


Exorcist: The Beginning makes an effort to provide reasoning for Father Lankester Merrin’s post-Second World War period in Africa. The films by Harlin and Schrader both concentrate on this, although they differ noticeably, when it pertains to narrating Merrin’s prologue tale. In Harlin’s rendition, Merrin, who had abandoned the Catholic Church to study archeology and was disturbed by the wartime tragedies, reluctantly decides to join a project in Eastern Africa that isn’t proceeding as planned. Merrin learns while there that the area is the site of a centuries-old chapel where the devil Pazuzu’s ghost resides. Merrin, ultimately, encounters actual evil when the demon takes possession of someone nearby the dig, at which point he dons his garb and performs the act of exorcism. In certain aspects, Exorcist: The Beginning is promising, and Stellan Skarsgard gives a strong act as a youthful Father Merrin. However, it falters every time it tries to boost the horror element. It has shockingly subpar graphic effects, mostly uninteresting and weakly developed characters, and a concluding act that bears little resemblance to the first Exorcist film.

3 Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)


This alternative Exorcist predecessor, with Paul Schraeder as the director, came out after The Beginning received universal scorn and flopped at the movie office. Dominion was really filmed earlier, but Morgan Creek decided it would be too intellectual and subdued to be released, so they decided to reshoot the plot with a different director. Unfortunately, Dominion, while superior to The Beginning, nevertheless primarily presents the same unimpressive and uninspiring story of Father Merrin’s time in East Africa while focusing more on religious and spiritual topics. It’s a reflective tale that references the provocative concepts from the first movie. The Beginning’s absurd demon fights are traded for a lot of drawn-out talking moments that might just put viewers to sleep. The film was shot with a large portion of the same actors.

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2 The Exorcist III (1990)


The Exorcist III is unquestionably the most distinctive Exorcist successor and the only one that is genuinely brilliant. Although it is still a horror movie, two investigators are attempting to investigate a string of bizarre killings committed by the long-dead Gemini Killer. Father Karras, a famous priest from The Exorcistis brought back in the movie, and it is shown that he did not, in fact, pass away in the final scene’s fall. He actually acts as a means for a much more destructive force. Exorcist III does a good job of ignoring Exorcist II and concentrating on Lt. Kinderman, a figure from the first movie. Kinderman comes across a man who is blatantly insane while searching for a deadly serial murderer. A legendary top choice among its followers, the movie is a nearly stellar sequel to the first film that keeps the paranormal at odds with the brutal truths of the outside reality. With it having one of the best jump scares the film is the only sequel that comes close to living true to The Exorcist‘s reputation, despite some executive interference affecting the final result.

1 The Exorcist (1973)


The Exorcist among the most well-known films ever, is rightfully classic and the finest entry in the series. It is one of the best horror movies of the ’70s. William Peter Blatty’s novel The Exorcist is a fantastic film adaption that manages to frighten and thrill its audience by giving the audience a tale about the strength of hope and humanity in the midst of suffering. The story follows Regan MacNeil, the protagonist of the film, using an Ouija Board and getting haunted, forcing two priests to engage in a perilous exorcism in which they must struggle for her survival. The characters feel more like humans than merely actors playing parts owing to the directing technique, which brings forth their compassion. Furthermore, the realistic graphic effects and shocks are still effective for contemporary audiences. It is also one of those films which feature evil children. All horror enthusiasts must see The Exorcist at least once in their lifetimes since it is a legendary movie for a purpose.

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