The first trailer for The Exorcist: Believer has finally been unleashed online. This sequel follows two girls who disappear and reappear under demonic possession, forcing their parents to seek the help of Chris MacNeil, who witnessed the possession of her own daughter firsthand.
Director David Gordon Green‘s divisive but highly-anticipated reboot will surely frighten countless audiences and retraumatize those who saw the first film. With the film set to premiere on October 13th, precisely 50 years after the original movie, fans can wait with this list of the Easter eggs found in the trailer.
It’s unclear if Linda Blair will return to play Regan MacNeil in this reboot, as she has long put her controversial role behind her. However, Regan’s presence is felt throughout the trailer with the return of her mother, Chris.
Her name is scratched onto a piece of wood. Her childhood picture hangs in front of the camera. Even Olivia Marcum, who plays one of the possessed girls, bears a striking resemblance to Blair’s character, making her confrontation with Chris all the more terrifying.
The dueling dogs
At one point in the trailer, two canines are seen fighting and barking at each other in front of a glistening lake. This harkens back to when Father Merrin sees a pair of dogs battling in the desert when he visits the statue of his immortal enemy, Pazuzu.
Just like in the original movie, this minor duel foreshadows the elemental conflict between good and evil that will resume in this long-awaited reboot.
Fans of The Exorcist films will immediately recognize the sound of Tubular Bells, the franchise’s iconic theme song, as it plays in the trailer. However, the video cleverly spreads out certain portions of the song, allowing the audience to slowly piece together the movie that is being previewed.
The trailer reveals that Chris MacNeil had published a book about her daughter’s possession in the decades since the original story. For those who have forgotten, Fox released a sequel series following Regan and Chris years after the fateful exorcism.
While it may no longer be canon, it seems this new reboot was inspired by the show, which also has Chris be the writer of a book about her and Regan’s experiences with Pazuzu.
The demon and “Mother”
When Chris confronts the possessed Katherine in her room, the latter refers to her visitor as “Mother” and starts flailing around in her bed, begging for help.
It’s clear this moment is meant to invoke how Regan was tormented by Pazuzu, crying out for her mother as the demon shook her bed and thrashed her body around as it took control of her body. All in all, it looks like this demon will open up Chris’s scars as she tries to save the lives of two children who now suffer just as her daughter did.
The black-and-white shots
The film’s trailer ends with some flashing black-and-white shots of the exorcism of both Angela and Katherine. This brief sequence mirrors a trailer for the 1973 film, which mostly features similar flashing images of Regan and the demon Pazuzu’s faces during its climactic exorcism.
Such a video was considered too terrifying by Warner Bros. and was ultimately never released in theaters. This was probably for the best, as the prolonged strobing effects could’ve arguably caused some people to have seizures. Nevertheless, based on this Easter egg, it is clear the filmmakers did their research on the franchise as they brought this reboot to life.