“The Exorcist: Believer” had to change its release date so that it wouldn’t compete with the Taylor Swift concert film. Now that’s scary. In this creepy franchise reboot, Leslie Odom, Jr. plays the father of one of two demon-possessed girls. He recruits help from someone with experience, the mother from the original film, played by Ellen Burstyn. It’s modestly effective, and somehow manages not to be unintentionally funny. The main drawback is that the “Exorcist” gimmicks are all pretty familiar by now.
The carnal Netflix psychological thriller “Fair Play” combines corporate intrigue and erotic discord. Phoebe Dynevor from “Bridgerton” plays a brilliant hedge fund analyst who leapfrogs her fiancé for a big promotion. Her beau, played by Alden Ehrenreich, doesn’t take it well. Sharply acted and intriguing, “Fair Play” works effectively until it takes some plot turns that stretch credibility.
Julia Garner from “Ozark” and Jessica Henwick from “Game of Thrones” star in the disturbing suspense thriller, “The Royal Hotel.” It’s inspired by the true story of two American backpackers who take temp jobs at an extremely remote bar in the Australian Outback catering to miners. Things go awry as they contend with all that pent up testosterone. The actors shine in “The Royal Hotel, an unnerving gender critique.
“Scream” meets “Back to the Future” in the Amazon Prime comic thriller, “Totally Killer,” Kiernan Shipka, who was Don Draper’s daughter in “Mad Men,” plays a teen who time travels to the 80s to stop a serial killer before he can strike. It’s an uneasy blend of genres that isn’t nearly funny or clever enough to overcome its jarring shifts of tone. “Totally Killer” is totally avoidable.