“The Pope’s Exorcist:” A Scary Spin-Off

On April 14, 2023, director Julius Avery released his brand new spin-off horror film “The Pope’s Exorcist.”


Raza Hassan via Canva

Russell Crowe stars in Julius Avery’s new horror film, “The Pope’s Exorcist,” which is based off of “The Exorcist” book series. The film discusses the paranormal activity that occurs after a family of three moves into a new house.

Raza Hassan, Staff Writer

“The Pope’s Exorcist” follows the story of Father Gabriele Amorth (Russell Crowe), a priest who helps Julia (Alex Essoe) and her two children, Amy (Laurel Marsden) and Henry (Peter DeSouza-Feighony), with the paranormal activity occurring in an abandoned abbey that Julia inherited after the death of her husband.  

During the film, the family moves to Spain in order to renovate the abbey, and things take a turn quickly. Henry ends up finding a secret hideout in the basement, which leads to the major event of the movie: him getting possessed by a demon. While the film had amazing visuals that made the film scary, the plot was cliché in a way that was similar to many other horror movies out in the industry.

Typically, most paranormal horror films start with families moving, ouija boards, or other horror movie clichés, which is one thing that the film could have done differently. Most horror films, such as “The Conjuring,” “The Exorcist,” and “Paranormal Activity,” are all very similar to “The Pope’s Exorcist” because they all have similar plots, such as having the same cliché beginning with the characters moving and summoning a demon.

Despite the predictable plot, the characters’ decisions made the film more enjoyable because it added an element of suspense, yet still kept the audience members scared. In addition, it also provided a great way to foreshadow what would happen next. Russell Crowe did an amazing job with this film by providing a stunning performance that drew the audience’s attention. This was evident towards the climax and the end, such as when the priests discovered the hideout and the history of it. The film succeeded at providing great horror, anxiety, and thrilling aspects. The jumpscares also contributed to the enjoyment because they allowed the audience to experience something unexpected, which made the film fit the horror genre more. 

“The Pope Exorcist” is in theaters now.