(from left) Tony (Norbert Leo Butz), Katherine (Olivia O’Neill) and Miranda (Jennifer Nettles) in The Exorcist: Believer, directed by David Gordon Green.

What Does the Ending of ‘The Exorcist: Believer’ Even Mean?

Well, The Exorcist: Believer is here and it’s a movie that will leave you wishing for more for Ellen Burstyn’s Chris MacNeil. With some standout moments and scary instances, it doesn’t put the fear of God in you the way the original did—at least I did not leave the theater ready to sleep on the floor, praying to the high heavens for demons to leave me alone like I did when I saw the original. Believer is what I would refer to as aggressively fine. Not bad, but not a movie I would go out of my way to see. The ending, however, is hilarious.

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Throughout the movie, we watch as religious parents Miranda (Jennifer Nettles) and Tony (Norbert Leo Butz) force their daughter Katherine (Olivia O’Neill) to try and basically pray the demon away at home instead of using any sort of brain cells. The worst comes at the end of the movie.

Spoilers for The Exorcist: Believer ahead

(from left) Angela Fielding (Lidya Jewett) and Katherine (Olivia Marcum) in The Exorcist: Believer, directed by David Gordon Green.
(Universal Pictures)

Imagine, if you will: You are at an exorcism. The demon taking over two small girls has been doing so for the better part of a week, and has used your insecurities as parents against you for the last four hours. Tell me why Tony, out of nowhere, decides now is the time to step up and be a “good” parent—and believe a demon was going to stand by their word? Well, this joker thinks he knows demons!

The demon said only one of the girls (either Katherine or Angela, played by Lidya Jewett) could live and the parents have to choose. Tony jumps in at the worst moment and says he chooses Katherine. Obviously, that’s not how it works. IT IS A DEMON. So of course it results in a brief moment when Miranda and Tony think their daughter is safe, only for her to die and Angela to live—and honestly? That’s what this toxic white Christian family gets.

A mother and daughter reunite

A possessed Regan MacNeil floating in the air above her bed in The Exorcist
(Universal Pictures)

Believer also brings back some important characters to the world of The Exorcist. In the original movie, Regan (Linda Blair) is the little girl who ends up possessed and her mother Chris (Ellen Burstyn) becomes dedicated to studying exorcisms and demons. While she isn’t much help in this case, Chris is brought into the mess and Katherine stabs her eyes out, so she cannot see who comes into her hospital room.

Throughout the movie, Victor (Leslie Odom Jr.) learns that Regan doesn’t talk to her mother because of the book she wrote about demons and exorcisms. But when Chris needs her, Regan is at her side. So the actual ending of the movie is Regan coming to see Chris in the hospital, and for all the nonsense in The Exorcist: Believer, this is a nice note to end on.

(featured image: Universal Pictures)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.