11 Best Exorcism Movies You Shouldn’t Watch Alone

Best Exorcism Movies
Someone please exorcise this girl before things get worse!

Watching scary movies alone is one thing. Watching exorcism movies alone...now that, you may not want to do!

The grotesque, the realm of the unknown, and lots of screaming make exorcism films a go-to if you're looking to get spooked. Be afraid, for demons will stop at nothing to destroy those that they possess (and frighten the poop out of the viewer).

11. The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring 2 Trailer

Oldman-demon possesses a family’s child. He admits he has fun intimidating the kid's family. But then who is that Nun-demon? Why, Valak, of course! Ed and Lorraine Warren are demon hunters and Valak likes to block Lorraine's powers to mask the true nature of the child's possession. Lorraine cares not and must exorcise the child from whoever is really trying to control her. That nun is horrific, and children are the perfect vulnerable targets for such ghouls.

They let Valak into the nunnery looking like that. Of course trouble ensued. This demonic old bat is out to possess your children. She’ll make you see her version of the truth instead of reality. Unfortunately, her vision of life is a bit like...death.

Valak: What did I tell you about cleaning up your room? Child: I promise I’ll do it right now. Really, I swear!

10. Constantine

Constantine Trailer

Based on DC Comics' Hellblazer, Constantine follows occult detective John Constantine as he tries to buy his way into Heaven. Though dude is scheduled to die and go to Hell, he tries to earn his wings by sending demons to the Netherworld. The plot is a touch more complicated than other films treating the subject of demonic possession. The exorcisms are gripping and more dramatic than nightmarish, but they do give some good chills.

Ready for Hell. Detective Constantine wants to bring you with him. He’ll be your guide, and promises a smooth transition (Though, he may or may not be lying).

Constantine tells a non-believer how comfortable she’ll truly be once she crosses over, into the Underworld. It looks like she’s falling for the sparkle in his trustworthy eyes.

9. Exorcist: The Beginning

Exorcist: The Beginning Trailer

In this prequel to 1973’s The Exorcist, archeological digs and the demon statuette of Pazuzu lead a priest to clues. Clues about demonic presences that have killed entire armies. The complex history of a buried church monument reveals more than the priest expects. Through the successful exorcism of a colleague, he returns to a faith he had long abandoned. Meanwhile, the woman he exorcises contorts with flailing limbs and windblown hair, as she runs at him through underground tunnels. This is an Indiana Jones-meets-Pazuzu take on the theme of demonic possession.

This is an ordinary guy, digging a few ordinary graves. He’s just on a regular archeological dig, no big deal.

He didn’t expect to meet Pazuzu, the most hideous of all demons. Anyone who saw the original 1973 Exorcist can probably still hear the sound of Pazuzu’s potty mouth via the soul he/it tried to possess. Ah, that little girl, Regan said some really nasty things, punishable by soap-in-mouth techniques known by moms worldwide. This grave-digging adventure means coming face to face with that obnoxious demon, once again.

8. Evil Dead (2013)

Evil Dead (2013) Trailer

What would you do if you were a junkie detoxing in the woods, and none of your friends believed you when you warned that they’d all die? What if you were the first of the group to become possessed? Sometimes you just can’t rely on friends to exorcise your demons. Mia is both the protagonist and antagonist in this homage to the original Evil Dead. While her friends cut off parts of their face and sever their own limbs, Mia seems to be the only one who can save herself. Where most exorcisms are performed by a second party, Mia has no choice but to take on the task alone. She has a novel approach to dealing with the malevolent thing living inside her. Without giving spoilers, let’s just say, she'll be following her friends' approach to self-dismemberment.

This is not failed plastic surgery. It’s what happens to Mia, a drug addict trying to detox in a secluded cabin in the woods. Mia’s friends didn’t take it seriously when she warned them about the demonic thing lurking in the woods. Now they’ll learn to listen to the girl in withdrawal.

After one day in the secluded cabin in the woods... Mia: You said this would make me pretty! Friend: No, I said it would make you clean.

7. Exorcist 3

Exorcist 3 Trailer

Decapitations, crucifixions and contradictory forensic evidence lead Lieutenant Kinderman on the trail of a demon that claims to be the student of “master” Pazuzu – the spirit who possessed the original child in 1973’s The Exorcist. With the help of a priest friend, and the head of a psychiatric hospital, they try to understand and mobilize the patient in Cell 11. The patient-slash-demon possesses elderly dementia patients to commit his murders. Creepy!

Master Pazuzu has taught a young disciple how to demonize the world. The secret is taking possession of elderly patients with dementia. With their help, the psych ward turns into a much creepier place than it usually is. This guy can attest to that, and wants it to stop.

Suspected of naughty deeds, this elderly psychiatric patient has found a way to avoid being caught. If they don’t see you, they can’t put you in solitary confinement. Pazuzu? Is this your work?

6. The Priests

The Priests Trailer

A pair of priests exorcises a comatose young girl. Citing many religious passages, their idea is to rid the girl of the malevolence by banishing it into, wait for it – a baby piggie. Cops get angry when it appears the priests have killed the girl in the process. But does anyone care when the priests drown the now-possessed oinker? That's animal sacrifice, yo. Lots of tension in this scary Korean film that does its version of The Exorcist.

The promotional stills from The Priests make us wonder what such a handsome young fellow is doing wearing that white collar. He was probably hired for his looks, but is he even old enough to be a priest?

This boy hasn’t even learned to wipe off his milk mustache yet. Coupled with that cute backpack, are we really supposed to be believe he, as a priest, can help do this exorcism thingie? His partner looks a bit skeptical, too.

5. The Last Exorcism

The Last Exorcism Trailer

A reverend that has somewhat lost his faith performs staged exorcisms. One day, he is called upon for a real one. He fudges his way through it, while thinking the possession victim, Nell, is just mentally ill. Smooth, Rev. Real smooth. Now Nell is off to smash kittens, farm animals and maybe even her family. Convoluted reasons explaining why Nell is or is not possessed precede a fearsome (real) exorcism involving fire, immaculately conceived demon children,  and our fave Rev regaining his faith to do the deed he should have done right the first time.

The reverend knows he’s a ridiculous fraud. But if he rids just one person of their demons, maybe it would restore the town’s faith in him. And so, he agrees to work on Nell. “I shall cure your sciatica”, he says. “Are you ready to be freed from your pain?” he asks. After Nell agrees, something amazing occurs.

It’s a miracle! Suddenly Nell’s back feels tingly and flexible. With the glee of a banshee, she dashes across the room. Smiling and happy, she notes that her spine hasn’t felt this great in years. Picking up a nearby axe, she gleefully maims a chicken, dog, and cow. Suddenly, the reverend realizes that the townsfolk won’t be giving him any medals yet.

4. Deliver Us From Evil

Deliver Us From Evil Trailer

Empty eyes and twisted limbs are what we can expect in this creeper of a crime thriller.  Servants of God hold demons within them. NYPD partners Butler and Sarchie need to exorcise them to solve a mysterious string of events. Apparently, demons can enter our world when there is a rift between Paganism and Christianity. This is the bridge that the exorcists need to cross in order to deliver everyone from evil. The process however, is not so simple.

Spirits spy on this guy to decide whether his tattoos are of a religious slant. It appears that his extreme body modifications are an odd amalgam of both Pagan and Christian emblems. The spirits are not partisan to the mix.

Thus slipping through the tiny porthole, demons infiltrate the land of the living, and insist on writing cryptic messages on walls. Curiously enough, they resemble the tattoos of that other dude.

3. The Exorcism of Emily Rose

The Exorcism of Emily Rose Trailer

Unlike most films dealing with exorcisms, this one is not so much about the process of demons taking possession of an innocent protagonist. It is more the retelling of Emily Rose's possession in the context of a court setting. The idea is to show the difference between secular/medical versus religious views. Was she epileptic and schizophrenic, or was she truly possessed by evil spirits? “There are no injections against the Devil” but the flashing lights and Emily’s creepy mumblings will give you the heebie jeebies.

In a court of law, there’s a fine line between schizophrenia and demonic possession. Deciding which of the two afflicted poor Emily Rose is not a simple matter. While deliberating, however, it would be wise to keep watch over the young woman’s tantrums.

Without proper attention, Emily will need to be tied to her bed, just like Regan in the 1973 classic, The Exorcist. Matter of fact, it might be wise to tie her down either way.

2. The Wailing

The Wailing Trailer

A virus of dubious origin is turning the townsfolk into stupefied murderers. The symptoms present much like a possession by demonic forces. While the town attacks itself, two strangers lurk in the shadows. As we try to figure which one of them is responsible for the outbreak, we encounter a possessed little girl. Enter the exorcist. Or shaman. Same difference when we're dealing with those demons from unknown dimensions. The Wailing is unique in the genre because its mysteries are not entirely solved, and that child is not to be trusted even after supposed exorcism.

The villagers’ farm tools make for no-brainer weapons. This won’t end well at all.

Something wicked has entered the village. The problem appears to be two-fold. Who, or what is truly responsible for the possession of these innocent folks? Whoever it is, is making a bloody mess.

1. The Exorcist

The Exorcist Trailer

Linda Blair will forever be known as that obnoxious kid from The Exorcist. She is by far one of the most whacked out, crazy demons (by way of possession) in horror Cinema’s history. Her vile tongue, her 360-degree head spins, and let's not forget the projectile vomiting, have earned this antagonist her due place at Number One. The Church has its work cut out for them with this demon (named Pazuzu). The exorcism they perform on Blair’s character, Regan, appears to last for days on end. The abuse suffered by all the adults in The Exorcist are thanks to the foul-mouthed demon inhabiting little Regan. A ton of blood, sweat and vomit went into this exorcism, and it will still give you the creeps in 2018.

From the book of amazing things ordinary children can do when possessed by true evil. Defy Mommy. Defy the Church. Spin their head 180-degrees like a owl.

From another page in the same book: (Stating the obvious, here) Puking vomit so green, mom would wonder if their kid was addicted to avo-toast and kale smoothies.

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Daria is an octopus (multi-tasker!). Since graduating from Film Studies, she has freelanced as an arts & culture writer. Currently she focuses on film critique – specializing in horror and genre film.
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