Believer’s Biggest Easter Eggs, Explained
8 mins read

Believer’s Biggest Easter Eggs, Explained



As with any major franchise that’s being rebooted or given the requel treatment, fans always look for Easter eggs and references to the originals. It’s happened with properties such as Halloween, and now, loyalists are hoping Blumhouse does the same for The Exorcist: Believer.

This movie picks up from the original 1973 film The Exorcist, which means there’s less clutter in between. Thus, Believer does pay homage to the past. There are quite a few deep cuts and references to what the late director William Friedkin did when he first had the MacNeils needing help to battle a sinister demon.

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10 The Fighting Canines

Merrin finds the Pazuzu statue in Exorcist

Believer opens up with Victor (Leslie Odom Jr.) in Haiti where his wife would perish after sustaining injuries in an earthquake. There’s a big nod to Max von Sydow’s Father Merrin in the first scene. Victor photographs two dogs fiercely fighting near a beach, unaware what they portend.

This mimics when Merrin recalled his time in Africa. He saw dogs battling in the desert when he found the statue of Pazuzu. It would tease the conflict to come, while reminding Merrin of his first spiritual tussle with the demon in The Exorcist: Beginning.

9 The Power of Christ Line

The Exorcist: Believer has Katherine and Angela being possessed

Nurse Ann tries to help Victor when his daughter, Angela, gets possessed by Lamashtu 13 years later. Ann’s big secret, however, is that she dropped out of becoming a nun. She was supposed to take her vows and be reborn as Mary, but instead, she got pregnant and had an abortion.

The corrupted Angela keeps taunting her about this. Angela makes a sadistic joke how the “Power of Christ” compelled Ann to take the abortion. It calls back to Merrin and Father Karras’ iconic lines about the power of Christ compelling Pazuzu out of Regan’s body.

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8 Maddox Gets the Neck Twist Treatment

The Exorcist: Believer has Katherine in demonic form

Father Maddox joins the families in Exorcist: Believer’s ending to try to exorcise Angela and Katherine. However, they use their telekinesis and turn his neck around. It snaps, scaring all the heroes and making them think Satan’s solider really may be unbeatable.

This is a twisted throwback to Regan’s neck wring in the 1970s. She did so to taunt the priests, but Maddox gets killed here. It’s one of cinema’s most frightening scenes. Shots like that had fans and critics feeling sick and fleeing cinemas.

The Exorcist: Believer has Katherine being possessed

In William Peter Blatty’s novel, Pazuzu wanted to desecrate the idea of the crucifix, having Regan orgasm while stabbing herself with it in the crotch. The movie censored this, of course. It removed the sexually explicit connotations as Linda Blair was just 14, and Regan was meant to be 12.

Still, it was very disturbing. Believer reinterprets this when Ellen Burstyn’s Chris relives the moment that her daughter went through. She tries to exorcise Katherine, but the child grabs the family crucifix after it falls off her wall. She then leaps on Chris and stabs both her eyes out, making the crucifix a much scarier weapon.

6 The Chris-Regan Book Is Revived

The Exorcist: Believer has Victor and Chris plotting an exorcism

Fox did an Exorcist TV series in 2016 that had the demon seeking out an older Regan. Sadly, she cut ties with Chris after her mother wrote a book on their experience. She’d change her name and go into hiding. Believer follows a similar path, but this Chris is more genuine.

The show was about exploitation and Chris trying to capitalize to earn fame and money after her acting career tanked. Believer’s Chris, however, just wanted to help people with possessions. Unfortunately, Regan grew reclusive as it dredged up grief and trauma.

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5 Angela’s Levitating Is Akin to Regan

The Exorcist: Believer has Angela being possessed

In the finale, the religious squad pushes hard to expunge the demon from both Katherine and Angela. However, when Katherine’s father, Tony, brokers a deal to save his daughter, Angela levitates. It’s akin to Regan rising up and floating in the original.

This time, there’s a heartbreaking twist. The Regan levitation was for a grand spectacle. But Angela’s is to make the audience think the demon is leaving and taking her soul to Hell.

4 Angela Reworks the Vomiting

Two possessed children in The Exorcist: Believer

Angela definitely gets more of the supernatural abuse than Katherine. She even ends up vomiting a lot of blood throughout. It shows that the prayers are working to remove Lamashtu, creating graphic, squeamish scenes. She even spits it on the roof to sully the idea of Heaven.

Vomiting is synonymous with Regan. Fans would recall she spewed bile all over her priests. It was green pea soup, so it didn’t have such a terrifying aesthetic. Believer’s vomiting scene, however, is way more frightening as it gives the impression Angela will die. Most movies in the genre copy this, but no matter what, these grimy scenes always stand out.

3 The Demonic Mind Games

Ellen Burstyn talking with Leslie Odom Jr. in The Exorcist: Believer.

The Exorcist’s Pazuzu loved playing mind games. He tore into Merrin’s war-torn past and Karras abandoning his mother to die. Lamashtu plays similar games outside of Ann. She teases Chris about Regan’s past and how her daughter’s now burning in Hell. The biggest jab, however, comes when Lamashtu preys on Victor’s guilt and spills the truth.

The audience thought he asked Haitian doctors to save the unborn Angela after the quake. But he asked them to save his wife — fate played out such that Angela survived and the mother died. It’s a cruel game, making him feel bad how his actions have now condemned the child to eternal torture.

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2 The Purple Frock

Merrin tries to save Regan in Exorcist

When Merrin and Karras fought Pazuzu, they used a purple frock. It was one of the Catholic Church’s symbols against evil. Maddox has one, but the real purple frock that makes a difference comes via a scarf. This is the one Angela’s mother had.

The girl kept trying to use it in the beginning, hoping it would be useful in a séance to contact her mother. Sadly, Victor took it, so when Angela and Katherine opened the gateway, they didn’t have that totem of love. This allowed Lamashtu to possess them, but in the end, Victor uses the scarf, so Angela could hold it and come back to him.

1 The Visual and Audio Vibe

The Exorcist Believer poster with two evil children holding cross

The Exorcist often used intercut scenes to quickly show images of Pazuzu. Many black and white shots were included in Regan’s battle with the priests as well. Throw in the theme song of “Tubular Bells” from Mike Oldfield, there was just a haunting air to the original. This vibe is recreated by director David Gordon Green with a few black and white shots thrown in when the religious war takes place.

There are even spliced in shots of the new demon that fans would have to get digital copies to assess. Luckily, the effects aren’t overdone as this could affect photosensitive audiences and even induce seizures. Lastly, the emblematic Exorcist sound bed appears at the end once Angela goes free and Katherine dies.

The Exorcist: Believer is now in theaters.