Helmed by William Friedkin, ‘The Exorcist’ is a 1973 horror movie following the story of Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn), a mother desperately seeking aid for her daughter, Regan (Linda Blair). Regan’s behavior spirals into increasingly alarming and violent episodes that flout conventional medical and psychological explanations. In a state of distress and frustration, Chris turns to Father Damien Karras ( Jason Miller), a conflicted priest wrestling with his own doubts and faith.
United with another experienced priest, they aim to free Regan from the clutches of the demonic presence that has seized her. If the film’s story and slow-paced horror impressed you, and you’re looking for similar movies to keep yourself up at night, we’ve got you covered. You can watch most of these movies similar to ‘The Exorcist’ on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu!
10. The Atticus Institute (2015)
Chris Sparling’s ‘The Atticus Institute’ immerses viewers in a 1970s horror tale centered on Dr. Henry West (William Mapother) and the eponymous Atticus Institute dedicated to paranormal research. As the movie progresses, West encounters Judith Winstead (Rya Kihlstedt), a woman displaying astonishing telekinetic powers, sparking the potential for a groundbreaking discovery. However, West soon realizes that Judith’s powers defy all he has known, raising the unsettling possibility of her being a vessel for demonic possession.
Both ‘The Atticus Institute’ and ‘The Exorcist‘ fall within the horror genre, focusing on the supernatural and paranormal. ‘The Exorcist’ explores the possession of a young girl, portraying a classic tale of demonic influence. On the other hand, ‘The Atticus Institute’ explores the sphere of extraordinary telekinetic abilities and the potential influence of demonic possession.
9. Apostle (2018)
Gareth Evans’ ‘Apostle’ is a horror thriller set in 1905, revolving around Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens), a former missionary. Thomas embarks on a journey to a barren island to retrieve his sister Jennifer (Elen Rhys) from the grips of a religious cult. On the island, he uncovers a society led by the charismatic prophet Malcolm Howe (Michael Sheen). As Thomas delves deeper into the island’s mysteries, he unveils shocking and horrifying truths that make him confront his own faith.
‘The Exorcist’ primarily focuses on demonic possession entrenched in a traditional Christian context. Echoing in the same essence, ‘Apostle’ delves into the beliefs and rituals of a cult. Both ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘Apostle’ feature a central character wrestling with their inner turmoil, motivated to excavate the truth behind unsettling and disturbing events.
8. The Pact (2012)
Directed by Nicholas McCarthy, ‘The Pact’ unfolds the unsettling story of Annie Barlow (Caity Lotz) as she confronts her past by returning to her childhood home following her mother’s passing. Soon, inexplicable and horrifying occurrences occur, spurring Annie to mine sinister family secrets and confront a malevolent entity that plagues the house. As she delves deeper into this enigma, Annie becomes embroiled in a harrowing battle against this evil force, putting herself and her family in grave danger.
‘The Exorcist’ grapples with the horrors of demonic possession. In a similar vein, ‘The Pact’ unveils a vengeful spirit haunting a family residence. Notably, both ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘The Pact’ showcase resilient female protagonists — Regan in ‘The Exorcist’ and Annie in ‘The Pact’ — who courageously face horrifying supernatural entities.
7. A Dark Song (2016)
Liam Gavin’s ‘A Dark Song’ follows the story of Sophia Howard (Catherine Walker), a mourning mother on a quest for closure and a connection with her departed son. In her pursuit, she enlists the aid of an occultist named Joseph Solomon (Steve Oram), undertaking an elaborate and dangerous ritual. Confined within a secluded residence, the duo initiates the arduous and terrifying process, confronting their inner demons and navigating the unpredictable outcomes of the ritual.
Both ‘A Dark Song’ and ‘The Exorcist’ delve into the exploration of the unknown and the confrontation with terrifying supernatural forces. Furthermore, they shed light on the psychological toll that engaging with the supernatural can take upon regular people.
6. Frailty (2001)
The psychological horror film ‘Frailty,’ directed by Bill Paxton, is among the greatest in the genre. The narrative chronicles Fenton Meiks (Matthew McConaughey), who recounts a harrowing tale from his traumatic childhood to FBI agent Wesley Doyle (Powers Boothe). Fenton recites the unfortunate story of his father’s descent into madness, a descent triggered by a conviction to eliminate demons masquerading as everyday people. Adam (Levi Kreis), Fenton’s younger brother, remembers the same events but interprets them through a different lens. As the narrative unfolds, the ghastly reality behind their father’s actions comes to light, revealing a disturbing truth.
‘Frailty’ and ‘The Exorcist’ share a common theme of combating malevolent forces deeply rooted in religious beliefs. In ‘The Exorcist,’ the struggle revolves around battling demonic possession. On the other hand, ‘Frailty’ portrays a battle against perceived demons cloaked in the guise of ordinary people. Both films explore the theme of faith and its transformative influence to drive people to confront what they perceive as evil.
5. The Innkeepers (2011)
Directed by Ti West, ‘The Innkeepers’ immerses audiences in a horror tale set during the final days of the historic Yankee Pedlar Inn’s operation. The narrative centers on Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy), employees who, amid the dwindling guests, dedicate their time to solving the inn’s rumored hauntings. As they delve deeper into the paranormal enigmas of the establishment, they unearth horrifying secrets that endanger their lives. ‘The Innkeepers’ is a decent departure from the usual horror tropes and stands out for its focus on storytelling and mood.
Both ‘The Innkeepers’ and ‘The Exorcist’ delve into the concept of facing and resisting an overwhelming, ancient presence that poses a dire threat to the world. In ‘The Exorcist,’ a young girl named Regan becomes the focus of all the eerie events, whereas in ‘The Innkeepers,’ the eerie occurrences unfold within the confines of the Yankee Pedlar Inn, posing a threat to both Claire and Luke’s lives.
4. Prince of Darkness (1987)
Directed by John Carpenter, ‘Prince of Darkness’ focuses on an armada of scientists and researchers stumbling upon a cryptic container holding an eerie green liquid in a forsaken church. As the scientists probe the arcane substance, its dark origins and the terrifying implications for the world come to light. This liquid serves as a gateway to an ancient malevolent force. Now, scientists have no choice but to wrestle with the looming peril, desperately attempting to prevent its unleashing upon the world.
Both ‘Prince of Darkness’ and ‘The Exorcist’ delve into the harrowing theme of combating ancient, malefic forces. In ‘The Exorcist,’ it manifests as a demonic entity taking possession of a young girl, while in ‘Prince of Darkness,’ it manifests as an age-old malevolent force hidden within a mysterious liquid. The film’s sluggish pacing and foreboding score do an excellent job of establishing a feeling of dread and uneasiness.
3. Lovely Molly (2011)
‘Lovely Molly,’ directed by Eduardo Sánchez, is a thought-provoking psychological horror of 2011. At its core is Molly Reynolds (Gretchen Lodge), a young newlywed who settles into her late parents’ residence. Wrestling with recent grief over her father’s passing and a troubled past of her own, Molly slips into a disconcerting spiral of supernatural events within the confines of the house. Reality and nightmare twist as the troubling events escalate, exposing a malevolent presence fixated on her destruction.
Much like ‘The Exorcist,’ ‘Lovely Molly’ explores themes of possession and the battle waged against sinister forces. While ‘The Exorcist’ showcases a conventional possession by a demonic entity, ‘Lovely Molly’ takes a nuanced route, exploring the protagonist’s psyche gradually under the influence of a malevolent presence. Both ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘Lovely Molly’ focus on the protagonist’s battle against an external force- be it a demon or a malefic entity from hell.
2. The Devil’s Candy (2015)
Helmed by Sean Byrne, ‘The Devil’s Candy’ is a psychological horror movie with Jesse Hellman (Ethan Embry), a struggling artist, at its center. Jesse relocates with his family to a new home carrying a haunting past and memories of its former inhabitants. As Jesse inundates himself with his art, his daughter Zooey (Kiara Glasco) becomes the target of a pervasive entity aiming to exploit both her vulnerability and innocence.
Both ‘The Devil’s Candy’ and ‘The Exorcist’ explore the invasion of malevolent forces into the lives of regular people. In ‘The Exorcist,’ a young girl is besieged by a demonic entity, while in ‘The Devil’s Candy,’ Jesse and Zooey grapple with the influence of a malefic force lurking in their newfound house. Both ‘The Devil’s Candy’ and ‘The Exorcist’ underscore the agonizing struggle to protect and uphold the innocence of regular people amidst the looming threat of ominous external influences.
1. The Sentinel (1977)
Michael Winner’s ‘The Sentinel’ is one of the best supernatural horror movies out there. The movie puts the audience into the shoes of Alison Parker (Cristina Raines), a budding model, as she shifts into a historic Brooklyn brownstone, only to discover that her new house serves as a gateway to hell for demonic beings. Things become interesting when Alison learns of her role in the fight against evil while dealing with strange sightings and odd neighbors.
In a similar vein to the ‘The Exorcist,’ ‘The Sentinel’ navigates themes of the supernatural and demonic intrusion. Both films delve into the intricacies of spiritual warfare and the unsettling existence of wicked forces. ‘The Exorcist’ showcases a young girl’s possession by a demon, while ‘The Sentinel’ revolves around the brownstone acting as a conduit for diabolical beings. Both ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘The Sentinal’ paint a vivid struggle between the forces of good and evil, wherein characters confront threats from a world beyond our natural understanding.
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