believers Get out of there, damned demon!
Revisiting a classic is always a challenge. Do it with The Exorcistone of the cult films in the horror genre, was just as challenging as eradicating chamuco from a guest.
Director David Gordon Green and producer Jason Blum do not specialize in diabolical entities or possessions, although being references in horror led them to make The Exorcist: Believers, the direct continuation of the original film directed by the recently deceased William Friedkin, released in 1973.
As part of his visit to CDMX, Excelsior questioned Gordo Green about repeating the formula he just applied in his trilogy Halloweenwhich closed the cycle of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) against Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney), but on a more spiritual and demonic level than physical and visceral.
This is a completely different subgenre. I loved making the movies Halloween and take out all my impulses slashers and create these types of classic scares, like the boogeyman coming out of the closet and executing creative deaths.
But this was much more academic, in the sense that it is something that has been highly researched and represented, so you always have to bring a more creative idea to show a lot of authenticity and respect for different religions and cults, issues that with Halloween I don't think about. They passed, there was a little more freedom in that aspect,” explained the filmmaker, from the Four Seasons hotel in CDMX.
LINDA BLAIR'S “CAMEO”
The Exorcist: Believerswhich already premiered today in national theaters, follows Victor Fielding (Leslie Odom, Jr.), who after losing his pregnant wife in the Haiti earthquake takes care of his daughter Angela (Lydia Jewett).
Things turn dark when she and her friend Katherine (Olivia O'Neil) disappear in a forest for three days and when they return they have no memory of what happened, however, an evil force seems to have returned with them.
In his desperation and fear, Victor asks for help from Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn), the mother of Regan (Linda Blair), a girl possessed 50 years ago.
Although Burstyn canonically is a survivor and the only one suitable to appear on screen, Believers featured Blair in an exceptional way, the filmmakers said when asked about the work of both girls.
"I asked them not to see the first movie to do this job and they still did it!", Gordon Green revealed, "You know what? You simply can't turn people away from the first one, because anyone who has an interest in cinema in general, and especially horror films, will always seek it out. The girls did see the movie and were very impressed with Linda's performance.
And then we had her as an advisor for them and to take care of their well-being when doing this, especially with their characters when they entered these dark places, but it really had a lot to do with the fact that they are an excellent selection. They were very creative, bringing a lot to the table, giving all the light to the main scenes and then bringing all that darkness to the following ones. And with all the extra hours they spent applying makeup, because it is difficult to make these films, you don't always come across collaborators (patients) like Olivia and Lidya,” added the director.
Gordon Green has a history of unleashing the evil of Michael Myers in Haddonfield, Blum, with titles under his Blumhouse production company such as Paranormal activitythe saga of The night of the demon, The black phone and M3ganamong other.
Both have proven to be experts in their field, but with this project they had a special respect, not only for the cult around it in the industry, but for the dark factor that it entails, since it is no secret that, since the production of The Exorcistat the beginning of the 70s, and its post-release, really dark, dramatic and tragic things have happened.
It didn't hurt to be safe. Just in case, right?
Of course we have heard these same stories and were with someone who could tell us which ones were true and which were false. So, we prepare. We understood the factor that we are indeed touching on themes of saints and spirits, that we were going to be evoking them on set, so we made sure to arrive prepared for the shoot:
We had spiritual advisors, religious authorities from each religion on site, we went to saints, we did rituals and even a father blessed the set. Yes, we had a lot of fun making the film, but we also focused on creating an environment that was safe for everyone,” shared the director.
Curiously, the talk with both creators was held with them placed within a circle of protection, just in case you had any doubts. Well, they were very sincere, they are not skeptical.
And regarding the reception, Gordon Green and Blum were very clear, especially given what happened after Myers's controversial ending in Halloween: The final night.
We are prepared (for criticism). We know they will be very hard because it is one of the favorite horror films of all time and here we are reinventing it.
So of course it is a challenge, but David and I love challenges and that definitely made it more fun and exciting,” Blum accepted after being questioned about it.
Events of the exorcist
Ellen Burstyn fractured her tailbone during a scene in 1973.
Linda Blair developed scoliosis from being shaken on the hard bed.
Paul Bateson, a real doctor who acted as an extra in the scene of Regan's brain angiography, became a serial killer.
The house where they filmed the exorcism of the protagonist was blessed.
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