The Exorcist might have been a cornerstone in horror movie history, but the same can’t be said about its disaster sequel. While The Exorcist became a pop culture phenomenon, Exorcist II: The Heretic now has a 9% overall score from Rotten Tomatoes and, to say the least, a lot of angry fans.
The Exorcist 2, which was released in 1977, was a far cry from the original — which is widely considered, to this day, to be one of the best movies of the horror genre. But lightning failed to strike twice when it came to the sequel, and far from being the best horror movie of the year, it ended up being one of the worst movies instead.
Still, audiences were horrified by Exorcist 2 — just not in the way the filmmakers intended. During a 2013 appearance at the Chicago Critics Film Festival, William Friedkin, who directed the first movie, revealed that audiences hated The Heretic so much, they ended up chasing Warner Bros execs down the street.
“Warner Brothers executives drove out to Pasadena in their big limousine, and they were all dressed up and they went into the theatre, and they sat in the last room and about 10 minutes into the film,” he recalled. “A guy stood up in the audience. He stood up and he looked around, and he said, ‘The people who made this piece of shit are in this room!'”
He continued, “Somebody else, then ten or 12 people get up, and all these guys go up their heads in the studio. They got up; they ran out of the theatre. They get outside, no cars. The cars are all down at McDonald’s and they were chased down the strip. That was the first public reaction.”
It wasn’t until 1990 that The Exorcist recovered from this film and released a third movie — which, unsurprisingly, completely ignored the events of the sequel. The follow-up was hardly the best ’90s movie, but it was at least better than The Heretic — which to be honest, is all any of us wanted.
For more on The Exorcist and the franchise’s new movie, check out our The Exorcist Believer review along with our guides on how to watch The Exorcist movies in order and how to watch The Exorcist Believer. Then, take a look at our guide to Deadpool 3, which might be less horrifying, but just as gory.