May 24, 2024

Horror master John Carpenter told the Los Angeles Times that he’s heard about the negative reaction to Universal and Blumhouse’s “Exorcist” reboot, which currently sits at a paltry 23% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and opened to under $30 million at the box office. Universal spent $400 million on rights to the franchise with the intent of starting a new trilogy. The reboot, titled “The Exorcist: Believer,” is directed by David Gordon Green, who worked with Carpenter on the most recent “Halloween” reboot trilogy.

“I like what David did when he made the three ‘Halloweens,’” Carpenter said. “I loved No. 2 [‘Halloween Kills’]. Thought that was fabulous. I heard ‘The Exorcist’ really didn’t cut it. That could be a kick-ass movie. I don’t understand how you can screw that up.”

Many critics would likely say that Green did screw that up. Variety film critic Owen Gleiberman wrote in his review that “The Exorcist: Believer” lacked dread, adding, “The clichés of demonic possession pile up with dutiful nostalgia, but they’ve lost their shock value.”

Elsewhere in his Los Angeles Times interview, Carpenter revealed that Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster comedy “Barbie” was a recent movie he watched from home. “Barbie” is the year’s biggest movie phenomenon with $1.4 billion and counting at the worldwide box office, the highest grossing release in Warner Bros.’ history. Carpenter said he wasn’t really the target audience for the film.

“I watched ‘Barbie.’ I can’t believe I watched ‘Barbie.’ It’s just not my generation,” Carpenter said. “I had nothing to do with Barbie dolls. I didn’t know who Allan was. I mean, I can sum it up. She says, ‘I don’t have a vagina,’ and then at the end, ‘I’m going to go to a gynecologist!’ That’s the movie to me. I mean, there’s a patriarchy business in there, but I missed that whole thing. Right over my head. But I think she’s fabulous, Margot Robbie.”

“Barbie” is available to watch in theaters and at home via digital platforms. “The Exorcist: Believer” is currently playing in theaters nationwide.

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