10/6 Movie Trip

10/6 Movie Trip

10/6 Movie Trip

There is no shortage of scary movies this month.  Paul McGuire Grimes, creator of Paul’s Trip to the Movies, fills us in.


Writer/director David Gordon Green thrilled audiences with his reboot of Halloween. Now, he does it again inviting us back into the world of the 1973 classic The Exorcist with The Exorcist: Believer. Fifty years have passed since Ellen Burstyn’s character, Chris MacNeil, came face to face with the devil after her daughter, Regan, became possessed. The demons are back this time attacking two young girls in the woods. Leslie Odom Jr stars as Victor Fielding, a single dad raising his teenage daughter, Angela. He’s a photographer trying to give the best life he can for Angela given his wife died in childbirth. Angela and her best friend, Catherine, go out into the woods one afternoon after school and return three days later. It only gets worse for both girls after they seem to be possessed by some evil spirit. Victor turns to Chris Macneil who may be the only person who can deliver the help he needs.

-Starring: Leslie Odom Jr, Ellen Burstyn, Ann Dowd, Jennifer Nettles and Norbert Leo Butz

-David Gordon Green keeps this much leaner than the 1973 film given modern audiences and the horror genre have changed a great deal since then.

-He sets up the family dynamics nicely tapping into the grief Victor lives in and the love and support he has for Angela. He’s a man who has lost his faith as we scene played out between Leslie Odom Jr and Ann Dowd.

-If the original film was about the Catholic right of an exorcist, Green views this with a 2023 lens where people come at crisis through different beliefs and backgrounds some clashing with others. That lens and sense of community and forgiveness lays at the heart of the film versus the shock value of the exorcism scenes.

-Leslie Odom Jr gives a stirring performance as we watch his character quietly navigate the horrific things happening to his daughter.

-This movie wouldn’t be what it is without Ellen Burstyn back as Chris MacNeil. While the movie doesn’t center around her, it’s powerful to see where we find Chris. The audience may be divided on her journey, and we do get confirmation of what has happened to her daughter Regan. It provides the film an emotional spine without relying too heavily on nostalgia or flashbacks.

The Exorcist: Believer may not be as jarring as the original, but its themes of community, evolving spiritual beliefs, and forgiveness snuck up on me in an emotional way I didn’t see coming.



There is no shortage of scary movies this month. If you’re looking for something with a little more humor and camp, check out Totally Killer. It’s Halloween in a peaceful idealistic town, one much like Haddonfield in the Halloween franchise. Back on October 27, 1987, a serial killer known as the Sweet Sixteen Killer murdered three teen girls. He’s stayed dormant since then as a newer generation of teens are quick to distance themselves from the horrors of that night. Kiernan Shipka plays Jamie Hughes who just wants to go to a concert on Halloween night. Her parents are overprotective given it was their friends who were killed back in 1987. It’s not long into the night when the Sweet Sixteen Killer makes his return uprooting Jamie’s world. Jamie’s friend, Amelia, has been secretly working on a time machine in a photo booth at the local carnival grounds. After a freak accident, Jamie finds herself transported back to 1987 hoping to stop the Sweet Sixteen Killer before his reign of terror begins.

-Starring: Kiernan Shipka, Julie Bowen, Lochlyn Munro, Kelcey Mawema, Oliva Holt

-Totally Killer falls right in line with recent horror comedies like Freaky and Happy Death Day from Blumhouse Pictures. All three are slasher films that aren’t overly scary, but their clever wit and style pay homage to all the great horror movies that came before.

-The writing team has clearly set out to make a Scream meets Back to the Future style film and makes no qualms about it directly referencing both franchises as well as Halloween and the works of Molly Ringwald.

-When Jamie is sent back to 1987, she sees the teen version of her parents and her mom, Pam (now played as a teen by Olivia Holt) is part of a clique called The Mollys who are all dressed like a Molly Ringwald character.

-Jamie is a modern-day teen girl quick to point out all of the problematic sayings, mascots, and teen tropes of the 80s. That’s on top of playing into the ramifications of time travel involving the quintessential horny teens in a cabin in the woods.

-Director Nahnatchka Khan comes from a sitcom background with Don’t Trust the B in Apt 13 and Fresh of the Boat. That light heartedness allows her to lean in and play up the camp and humor as opposed to crafting suspenseful jump scares.

-Self-referential horror isn’t new, but I’m surprised a movie like Totally Killer hasn’t been made yet. While I would hope the modern-day teens and Kiernan Shipka fan base would enjoy this movie, it’s probably made more for the 80s and 90s generation who will think back fondly of that era and appreciate the references, banger soundtrack and questionable fashion.