If you ask any old-school horror lover if they’ve seen The Exorcist, they’ll almost certainly say yes. When it comes to horror movies, The Exorcist is surely one of the most popular ones.
If you haven’t seen it yet (or you are just rewatching it), you might wonder what is the right watch order to see The Exorcist movies. Stick around as I explain the best order to watch all The Exorcist movies.
How Many The Exorcist Movies Are There?
There are a total of five The Exorcist movies that have been released. Here is the list of all The Exorcist movies in order of release.
- The Exorcist (1973)
- Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
- The Exorcist III (1990)
- Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)
- Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)
The Exorcist Movies in Order (Chronological Order)
To watch The Exorcist movies, there are two options: chronological order and release order. We recommend seeing The Exorcist movies in chronological order since it makes it easier to follow the story, as demonstrated below:
1. Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)
Years before assisting Father Damien Karras in saving Regan MacNeil’s soul, Father Lancaster Merrin first confronts the demon “Pazuzu” in East Africa. This is the story of Father Merrin’s first encounter with Pazuzu and his subsequent rediscovery of his religion.
Father Lankester Merrin believes he has seen the face of Evil. Merrin is tormented by recollections of the horrible atrocities inflicted against the innocent people of his parish during World War II in the years following the war.
In the aftermath of all the evil he has witnessed, he has lost both confidence in his fellow man and faith in the Almighty, and he can no longer call himself a man of God. Merrin has journeyed far from his native Holland in a desperate attempt to forget and escape the evil he experienced there.
While in Cairo, Egypt, he is approached by a rare antique collector and urged to engage in a British archeological expedition in Kenya’s remote Turkana area.
They discovered something unique and unusual: a Christian Byzantine church from the 5th century, long before Christianity reached East Africa, and in seemingly immaculate condition—as if it had been buried immediately after completion.
Merrin, an Oxford-educated archeologist, is tasked by the collector with discovering an old item concealed within the chapel before the British do. Merrin agrees to take the position since she is interested. But something far older and more sinister waits under the chapel, waiting to be roused.
When the archeologists begin excavating, odd things begin to happen, and the hired Turkana tribesmen refuse to access the site. Things only become worse and worse, eventually leading to insanity and death.
Merrin stands helpless as horrors of war are committed against another innocent town, things he hoped and prayed he would never witness again. On the East African plain, innocent people’s blood pours freely, but the nightmare has only just begun. Merrin will finally glimpse the actual face of Evil at the place where it was born.
2. Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)
The film begins in 1944 in a Nazi-occupied village in Holland. One of the German soldiers was slain, and the officer in charge is out for vengeance. Under the threat of murdering them all, he forces the priest, Father Lankester Merrin (Stellan Skarsgard), to pick who would die.
Merrin’s faith had been broken three years later. He is now an archaeologist in Derati and has been charged with uncovering a long-buried church. Together with Father Francis (Gabriel Mann) and Major Granville (Julian Wadham), the British commander in charge of the forces stationed there, they discover that the church is in great shape, having been buried the minute it was completed.
They discover evidence that the Church was not built as a place of worship while exploring it. In fact, it appears to be a safe haven for anything bad. They discover an underground room containing demonic idols and evidence of human sacrifices. This church is a bad place, and the evil within has now been released.
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Dominion recounts Lankester Merrin’s earliest encounters with the demon Pazuzu. The monster who later inhabited the body of young Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist. The original horror discussions between Merrin and the demon now have the meaning as we learn why Pazuzu seeks vengeance.
It’s considerably more complicated than a simple ‘possession’ narrative; it’s weighed down by Merrin’s guilt, his sorrow that he didn’t pursue a better route in 1944, and beliefs and creatures that predate time itself.
Pazuzu wants Merrin’s soul, it wishes to spread its evil through messengers, and the priest who has lost his faith is the ideal trigger.
There’s no denying that the main tale of Dominion is compelling, and even the slower parts serve to create anticipation. Those anticipating a full-fledged horror experience will be disappointed.
This is a slow-burning picture that tries hard to connect to The Exorcist while remaining distinct. It’s a lot of effort, but it’s definitely worth it. Because of the lead actors’ outstanding performances,.
3. The Exorcist (1973)
Chris MacNeil, separated from her actor husband, and her preteen daughter Regan is in Washington, DC, where Chris is on an extended location shoot for a film called “Crash Course.”
They’ve rented a townhouse in Georgetown for the duration of the filming, after which Chris intends to take Regan to Europe until their new home in Los Angeles is built.
Chris frequently hears noises coming from the attic in the middle of the night, which she suspects are caused by a tiny rat infestation. Concurrently, Regan, who had previously been a well-adjusted youngster, is exhibiting indicators of odd behavior such as hyperactivity, cursing, lying, and lack of attention.
Dr. Klein, who can only assume that the symptoms are a consequence of stress from her breakup and temporary relocation to DC away from her home, diagnoses her ailment as hyperkinesia based only on the symptoms. Despite Dr. Klein and other doctors’ attempts to determine and explain Regan’s increasingly abnormal and bizarre behavior with scientific theories.
Chris begins to suspect that something else is at work, especially since Regan’s behavior eventually includes violence and acts of superhuman strength that can only be classified as otherworldly and which Regan herself could not have directly caused on her own, such as the rat-less noises in the attic.
Despite his lack of religious views, Chris is certain that because an otherworldly power is engulfing Regan, the best course of action is to have that force – the demon – exorcised from Regan’s being.
Who approaches her is Father Damien Karras, an M.D. who works as a mental psychotherapist for the Catholic church and whom Chris had been drawn to like a person she had seen in the area for whatever reason. Father Karras is experiencing his own faith crisis as a result of his mother’s death.
He needs not only the church’s permission to act but also his personal conviction that anything he does will benefit rather than harm Regan. Father Lankester Merrin is also sent by the church because he may have a greater grasp of what has seized Regan and why it has selected her, which is required to resist it.
The dilemma is whether Fathers Merrin and Karras have strong enough faith to evict the demon, and what they are ready to undertake to accomplish their objective.
4. The Exorcist II (1977)
Pasuzu, the demon from the previous film, attempts to possess victim Linda Blair once more. The devil reappears in this second installment of the three-part series, as a new priest, portrayed by Richard Burton, attempts to locate the monster still dwelling inside Regan.
Father Lamont is dispatched by his Cardinal to investigate the death of Father Merrin as well as the reason for Regan’s possession by the demon Pasuzu. Father Lamont travels around the world to Africa in search of another person tormented by the same demon known as Kokumo, for whom Father Merrin performed an exorcism some years before.
Father Lamont learns from Kokumo that the demon resides inside locusts that travel across the planet. When Father Lamont returns to New York, he learns that the devil has inside Regan via Dr. Gene Tuskin’s hypnosis machine. To destroy the monster, Father Lamont journeys to Regan’s former house in Georgetown.
However, the devil takes possession of Regan, Father Lamont, and Sharon this time. Father Merrin’s spirit reappears to assist.
5. The Exorcist III (1990)
This film is also known as “William Peter Blatty’s Exorcist III” or “The Exorcist III.”
Do you dare to retrace your steps? In “The Exorcist,” the spirit of a wicked killer was given the body of the priest who saved the girl. He intends to exact vengeance for the last exorcism.
Is there a serial murderer stalking the streets of Georgetown, and does this have something to do with the exorcism 15 years ago? The area of Georgetown is being terrorized by a seemingly unending sequence of brutal deaths that bore the signature of the mass murderer, the Gemini Killer.
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Ignoring Exorcist II: The Heretic, this one is about a serial murderer who was killed on the same night as the first film’s exorcism with the girl Regan. Some 20 years later, the priest who went down the flight of stairs was absorbed into the spirit of the killer, who claimed victim after victim.
To make matters worse, even though it has been seventeen long years since the killer’s execution and that fateful night of pure terror in The Exorcist (1973), the skeptic police officer, Lieutenant William F. Kinderman, is still obsessed with solving the baffling case, as the death toll continues to rise.
Meanwhile, at the city’s maximum-security mental facility, a mysterious inmate who bears a striking likeness to the late Father Damien Karras awakens from his profound catatonic condition, claiming to have all the answers Kinderman requires.
The assassin mutilates priests and physicians and holds elderly ladies as suspects. When returning police detective Kinderman notices the same serial crimes as the Gemini Killer, he and another priest resolve to use the last exorcism to discover and destroy the killer’s spirit. But this exorcism will be even more harmful…
But who is the enigmatic Patient X? Is the same wicked power that afflicted Regan MacNeil involved in the heinous demonic murders?