October is coming, and the weird and spooky spirits are flowing everywhere… at least if the popularity of exorcists in fiction is any indication.
The vanquisher of demons, devils, and all things nasty is part of folklore, religion, and storytelling around the globe. The exorcist in horror, fantasy, and other stories is nothing new, but there always comes a time when certain tropes rise in popularity.
Right now, with movies like the recent The Pope’s Exorcist and the newest in The Exorcist franchise, The Exorcist: Believer, coming October 6, it seems as though exorcisms are once again all the rage. Here are three other places to drive out evil spirits or, rather, just find some great spooky entertainment.
Halloween Horror Nights Houses
Universal Studios Theme Parks’ Halloween Horror Nights grows every year at all five parks worldwide with a variety of scare zones and houses. This year, both American parks (Hollywood and Orlando) have houses dedicated to the new The Exorcist: Believer, coinciding with the movie release. The houses are relatively spoiler-free (with nothing the trailers don’t already show you), so this was pretty smart marketing on their part. Go to the house, and get pumped for a new horror movie. Go to the movie, and get the urge to visit the park again. It works. From what I’ve seen from YouTube influencers, the houses are incredibly scary, and the piped-in gross smells of the attractions alone will give you the willies.
There’s no Exorcist at the overseas parks, although Singapore is getting an All of Us Are Dead house based on the zombie-infested K-Drama that looks intense. Speaking of which…
There are at least two really good K-Dramas featuring exorcist protagonists, one more geared towards crime horror fans and the other to supernatural fantasy lovers. Island, based on the webtoon, came out last year on Amazon Prime. Cha Eun-Woo is an energetic young priest, Father Giovanni (aka Father Johan), who teams up with a demon hunter and the predestined savior of the island to take on evil spirits inhabiting Jeju Island.
On Netflix is the darker drama The Guest, also called Son: The Guest. This is another team-up, but with a more realistic edge. An exorcist, cab driver, and cop are all connected via tragic demon-based murders and possessions in their past. Kim Jae-Wook plays the exorcist, Father Matthew. Unlike the superhero-like Giovanni (who is really one of the coolest new characters in K-Dramas), Matthew is haunted, dour, and tragic, but the acting from both of these characters is fantastic. Both are cool series to watch in October.
If you can’t get enough of the action this season, there is more to come next year.
Titan Manga just announced a new series by artist and illustrator Shinta Harekawa, Three Exorcism Siblings Vol. 1. The story centers on the oldest sibling in a family, Mamoru Yamaemori, who tends a family shrine during the day and wards off flesh-eating monsters, Tengu, at night. Although he works hard to protect his younger brothers, he is cursed to walk a fine line between fighter and monster due to a dark ritual involving Tengu blood his parents made him endure. This is being advertised as a good read for those who love the Demon Slayer manga and anime, but the verdict on it is still out until its release in bookstores and digital on March 19, 2024.
Whether you feel stories featuring exorcists are good for either casting out demons or just wiping out boredom, there sure are a lot of them to choose from right now. Don’t let it get under your skin, though. They might have to pay you a visit.