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What possessed us to talk about “The Exorcist: Believer” and “Five Nights at Freddy’s”? I think it’s clear the devil made us do it.

The Exorcist: Believer

This episode is as cursed as the subject matter we discussed. It was our first ever “in theaters now” discussion. However, it got lost, sucked into the void, only to have been recently resurfaced. Regardless of our delay in sharing, it’s a great episode where we discuss two of the biggest and most talked about (for very different reasons) horror films of 2023.

Casey and Steph debate the merits of two Blumhouse joints, both of which sail on sacred waters by revisiting beloved properties. Does “The Exorcist: Believer” rekindle any of the original’s magic, or is it an unholy mess? Is “Five Nights at Freddy’s” a fan service treat or another tragic video game adaptation? Tune in to find out!

Like many horror films, we’ve talked about and debated The Exorcist: Believer A LOT on this site in reviews and podcast discussions. Steph already shared her impressions upon first seeing it in the theater here. But, as you know by now, she’s in the minority when it comes to her thoughts on this 2023 direct sequel to The Exorcist (1973), written and directed by David Gordon Green and co-written by Peter Sattler (from a story by Scott Teems, Danny McBride, and Green).

The film had horror fans talking, and the chatter has continued after the recent shocking announcement that Green has exited the already-planned Exorcist sequel (The Exorcist: Deceiver) under mysterious circumstances while Universal and Blumhouse look for a replacement director.

It’s rare that Casey agrees with the critics; he’s more a man of the people. But does this widely derided film mark an exception to that rule? 

Five Nights at Freddy's

On the opposite side of the spectrum was the surprise mega-hit Five Nights at Freddy’s, a long-awaited film adaptation of the popular video game series created by Scott Cawthorn. Development of the film began way back in 2015. After multiple production delays and a ton of behind-the-scenes turmoil, it finally made it to theaters just in time for Halloween in late October 2023.

It wasn’t much better received by critics, but fans flocked to the film, making it a huge commercial success. In fact, it grossed nearly $300 million to become Blumhouse’s highest-grossing film worldwide, surpassing the previous record holder, Split.

Did a couple of FNaF fans from way back enjoy this adaptation, or did it leave them hungry for more? Tune in to find out!

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ABOUT CHEER AND LOATHING
Cheer and Loathing is hosted by Stephanie Malone and Casey Chaplin. You can find Stephanie on Instagram at @srgreenhaw or on Twitter at @smalonedesign. Casey, unsurprisingly, hates social media. But you can still follow him on Instagram @ominousoriginspod and Twitter at @horrorshotsprod. Check out our show page on Anchor to catch up on any episodes you may have missed. Our illustrated, Halloween-inspired Cheer and Loathing avatars were hand-drawn by the incredibly talented Kitty Morgan (@kittymorgann on Instagram). And our awesome intro song, “Shankill Butchers”, is courtesy of the wickedly talented Ariel Dyer. Find more of her music on Bandcamp.

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