The Exorcism parents guide

The Exorcism Parent Guide

Same old, same same. This demonic possession film is a competent remake of every other demonic possession film.

Overall D

Theaters: An actor starts exhibiting troubling behavior while shooting a horror film, leading his daughter to question whether he has relapsed into old addictions or if something more sinister is at play.

Release date June 21, 2024

Violence D
Sexual Content C
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is The Exorcism rated R? The MPAA rated The Exorcism R for language, some violent content, sexual references and brief drug use.

Run Time: 93 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Devastated by his wife’s fatal illness, actor Tony (Russell Crowe) fell into a bottle. The drinking turned into a drug problem, which torpedoed his career and family life. Now that he’s out of rehab, Tony is trying to patch things up with his daughter, Lee (Ryan Simpkins). He thinks he might have a shot at getting some work, too: the role of a priest on an exorcism movie has just opened up after mysterious on-set death of the lead actor.

Once he gets the job, Tony begins to second-guess his enthusiasm for the role. The stress of the shoot and pressure from the director triggers some of his own trauma, and Tony’s having a hard time coping. Lee has noticed strange behavior on the part of her dad and suspects he’s started drinking again – but it looks like something else might be affecting him. Something far, far stranger.

If you’ve seen any exorcism movie by this point, you should have a pretty good idea what to expect. As the title suggests, this movie plays it safe; just a straight up-the-middle demonic possession horror flick. Same tropes, same jump scares, same same, only same. Russell Crowe has some strong moments, as does David Hyde Pierce as Father Conor, but don’t expect them to elevate this otherwise familiar fare.

This flick does have some distinctive problems, though, when it comes to negative content. Since the movie is less about actual priests than most in the possession genre, there’s a lot more cussing to wade through. The film also has a subplot about ecclesiastical child sexual abuse, which is likely to be upsetting for some viewers. I think there’s a way to make that angle work in this kind of movie, but it doesn’t quite land here. Viewers can also expect brief teen drug use, and infrequent bloody violence just to keep you attentive. As R-rated horror movies go, this one is pretty tame: there’s a bit of blood and a little graphic violence, but honestly, I’ve seen worse in some PG-13 movies. The bigger issues for parents to consider are the mature themes and profanity.

Coming hot on the heels of last year’s The Pope’s Exorcist, also starring Crowe as the titular demon-banisher, it’s starting to feel like he’s got a type. Crowe is decent in both films, but I’m not sure that it’s enough to justify this production’s very familiar runtime – at least for genre fans. If you, unlike me, haven’t watched a couple of dozen exorcism movies, then The Exorcism will probably be a lot more fun. Yes, it may be familiar, but it handles itself competently. Truth be told, I was pleasantly surprised by the film. I was expecting an hour and a half of unwatchable dreck, so mediocrity felt like a huge improvement. Maybe that’s the secret to enjoying the film - low expectations.

Directed by Joshua John Miller. Starring Russell Crowe, Ryan Simpkins, Sam Worthington. Running time: 93 minutes. Theatrical release June 21, 2024. Updated

The Exorcism
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Exorcism rated R? The Exorcism is rated R by the MPAA for language, some violent content, sexual references and brief drug use.

Violence: People are beaten, fatally choked, and stabbed with broken glass.
Sexual Content: There are references to and brief depictions of ecclesiastical child sexual abuse. There is a scene of brief buttock nudity in a non-sexual context.
Profanity: There are 40 sexual expletives, 11 scatological curses, and frequent use of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters drink alcohol and smoke a cigar. Teenagers smoke marijuana. There are references to substance abuse and addiction.

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Russell Crowe also recently starred in The Pope’s Exorcist. Other films about demonic possession include, of course, The Exorcist, which recently saw another sequel (The Exorcist: Believer), and films like The Rite, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Prey for the Devil, My Best Friend’ Exorcism, The Devil Inside, and The Possession of Hannah Grace.

The issue of sexual abuse by Catholic priests is central to Spotlight, a film about the reporters who broke the story in the United States.