THE EXORCIST 4 (2004) Stellan Skarsgard - WTF Happened to the Horror Movie

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The Exorcist franchise has had a rough go since its breakout movie is not only one of the most profitable horror movies but is widely considered the scariest movie ever made. Every sequel since hasn't lived up to the original, critically or financially.

After two sequels; Morgan Creek was still hoping for a massive hit that failed to materialize. After shelving the IP for over thirteen years, they thought that the best way forward was to go back, back to the early days of Father Merrin, and so an Exorcist prequel was born. What was meant as a straightforward prequel turned into an on-set nightmare. Director, Paul Schrader, got fired near the end of production, and Morgan Creek hired Renny Harlin of Die Hard 2, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Deep Blue Sea fame for some quick reshoots.

The reshoots turned into added scenes, then into rewrites, and eventually, Harlin convinced producers to let him reshoot the entire movie! With two different stories made about Father Merrin's early adventures and both getting a theatrical release, Exorcist: The Beginning and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist stands as one of the weirdest and financially odd decisions ever made by a film studio. Join us in the latest episode of our WTF HAPPENED TO THIS HORROR MOVIE video series, as we dig into both cuts of The Exorcist 4 to find out what the f*ck happened with this horror prequel.

Watch or Own The Exorcist The beginning here!
Watch or Own Dominion The Prequel to The Exorcist here!

SERIES SYNOPSIS: Hollywood has had its fair share of historically troubled productions. Whether it was casting changes, actor deaths, fired directors, in-production rewrites, constant delays, budget cuts or studio edits, these films had every intention to be a blockbuster, but were beset with unforeseen disasters. Sometimes huge hits, sometimes box office bombs. Either way, we have to ask: WTF Happened To This Horror Movie?


This episode was written by Ben Cantler, edited and narrated by Lance Vlcek and Produced by John Fallon.

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