How Light Creates Suspense in ‘The Exorcist: Believer’

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A light switch clicking on and off is at the center of an unnerving sequence in “The Exorcist: Believer.”

Leslie Odom Jr. stars as Victor Fielding, a father whose daughter (Lidya Jewett) had been missing and only just returned, quite different from when she left. Narrating this sequence, the director David Gordon Green said, “I’m starting to establish the unnerving quality of a father that can’t quite explain the behavior of his daughter.”

He does this by using a continuous timeline, with the scene playing out as if in real time even though there are numerous shots.

“That slow burn,” he said, “that time where there’s no gimmicks that you can process as a viewer, it adds a strange expectation of when something is going to happen.” The scene’s eerie conclusion helps to set up the mayhem that will soon follow.

Read the “Exorcist: Believer” review.

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