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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Exorcist returns to screens in 2026: From Halloween to The Amityville Horror, classic horror reboots to binge watch

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It is honestly too easy to lose count of the sheer number of times The Exorcist (1973) has been reworked to cater to the tastes of the contemporary audience. The most recent manifestation of this was last year’s The Exorcist: Believer which was a thorough box office dud. Believer was actually the first film of three, set to be bankrolled by Blumhouse and Morgan Creek. The glum reception of the film however, is what has landed the trilogy-to-be in the lap of filmmaker Mike Flanagan. Known for creating contemporary horror top performers such as Gerald’s Game (2017), The Haunting of Hill House (2018), Doctor Sleep (2019), Midnight Mass (2021) and last year’s The Fall of the House of Usher, expectations are high when it comes to next Exorcist. As we wait on it, here’s taking a look at some keynote horror reboots, reimagined over the ages.

A still from The Exorcist: Believer (Everett Collection)
A still from The Exorcist: Believer (Everett Collection)

The Exorcist

Mike Flanagan’s Exorcist will be the 7th film in the cult franchise. Based on William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel of the same name, The Exorcist (1973) is among the most revered titles in the history of horror cinema. Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn and Max von Sydow starred in the original. The premise of the film entirely centers around an actor trying understand what horrific things have come over her 12 year-old daughter while a priest grapples with his faith while attempting to help the duo.

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Following the mammoth success of the original, films Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), The Exorcist III (1990), Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist (2005) and The Exorcist: Believer (2023) were released. However, none can hold a candle to the standalone legacy of the original.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Horror connoisseur Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street released in 1984. It became the basis of a 9-film strong franchise. The basic premise of each of these films is Freddy Krueger, a disfigured blade-wielding entity, relentlessly haunting teenagers in their dreams. The only way to escape Freddy then, is to not sleep. The original incidentally starred Johnny Depp in a pivotal role.

Following the original, films A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985), A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994), Freddy vs Jason (2003) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). Though much of this lineup enjoyed varying levels of success, the most iconic of the lot is still the 1984 film.

The Amityville Horror

The first ever Amityville Horror film hit theatres back in 1979. The entirety of the franchise that this Stuart Rosenberg film birthed, is inspired from the infamous Ronald DeFeo Jr case. For context, in November 1974, DeFeo shot and killed 6 members of his family at their Amityville residence. Though his lawyer proceeded with an insanity plea, he was sentenced to prison for a minimum of 25 years to life — DeFeo eventually died in jail.

The fattest franchise on the list, and in general as well, the sheer number of cinematic re-tellings of this story are simply too many to list. However, some popular picks include the 2005 Amityville Horror flick with Ryan Reynolds in the lead. Also well known is the 2017 Bella Thorne starrer Amityville: The Awakening.

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th originally released in 1980. The independent slasher film was a small production, directed and bankrolled by S Cunningham. Made on a budget of half a million dollars, the film minted profits multiple times over to the range of $59 million. Unbeknownst to Cunningham at the time, the film would lay the foundation for a franchise boasting of as many as 12 titles.

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Jason X (2002), Freddy vs Jason (2003) and Friday the 13th (2009) make up the rest of the franchise.

Halloween

Exceeding Jason’s score from the Friday the 13th franchise is Halloween’s Michael Myers. Halloween, with Jamie Lee Curtis in the lead has birthed a franchise — arguably one of the better sustained ones, with a whooping 13 films under it. Halloween presents an endless struggle between the seemingly indestructible masked killer Michael Myers as year on year he tries to take on the quaint suburbs leading to an inevitable blood bath.

Halloween II (1978), Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989), Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Halloween (2007), Halloween II (2009), Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills (2021) and Halloween Ends (2022) make up the franchise.

Do you prefer the original films or the reboots?


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