Russell Crowe’s resurgence as a performer has led him down the dark alley of cinema, the 2020 road rage feature Unhinged being a prime example of this. Last year, the actor starred in Julius Avery’s chilling flick The Pope’s Exorcist. Russel, however, appears unsatisfied with his exploration of the genre so far. He is all set for a comeback this Friday with a fresh horror creation by Joshua John Miller titled The Exorcism. Before its release, here is a list of possession-filled horror thrillers you should consider watching.

Russell Crowe’s The Exorcism hits theaters on June 21

The Exorcist (1973)

No conversation about fictional possession is complete without mentioning the iconic 1973 classic, The Exorcist. The Exorcist marked the beginning of a vast legacy in the horror genre, establishing itself in mainstream cinema. Featuring Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, and Max von Sydow in lead roles, the movie follows a 12-year-old girl’s harrowing journey into possession as a priest endeavors to perform an exorcism while grappling with his own fading faith.

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The success of the film gave rise to an extensive franchise comprising of 5 sequels — none, however, matched the success of the original. A sixth installment helmed by Mike Flanagan is currently in the works, slated for a theatrical release in March 2026.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

Arguably the second most popular title when discussing exorcism in cinema, The Exorcism of Emily Rose premiered back in 2005. The movie effectively portrays the intricate and genuine overlap of possession and mental illness. While Reverend Moore (played by Jennifer Carpenter) is convinced they are dealing with a demonic entity, a prosecutor contests his claims in court, arguing that the young woman suffered from schizophrenia and was deprived of proper care, leading to her demise.

Upon its release, the film garnered a positive response at the box office, earning over $145 million against a budget of under $20 million.

The Rite (2011)

Anthony Hopkins headlines Mikael Håfström’s The Rite. Released in 2011, the film features Conor O’Donogue as Michael Kovak, a skeptical mortician whose faith is tested when he is given the chance to carry out an exorcism in Rome. Anthony Hopkins’s portrayal of Father Lucas steals the show. The latter half of the film depicting his exorcism is gripping, serving as a compelling display of well-crafted terror.

Deliver Us from Evil (2014)

Scott Derrickson’s Deliver Us from Evil stands as a lesser-known treasure in the horror genre. The film effectively showcases the consequences of possession rather than solely focusing on the stereotypical exorcism sequences. A series of disturbing and bizarre incidents — such as a mother knowingly throwing her baby into a lion enclosure at the zoo, prompt NYPD special-ops duo Ralph Sarchie and Butler to delve into the underlying cause.

Deliver Us from Evil has gained acclaim among horror enthusiasts for offering a distinct approach to the theme of possession.

The Wailing (2016)

The South Korean horror flick The Wailing hit screens in 2016. Directed by Na-Hong jin, the movie portrays the unraveling of a serene village into chaos and death following the arrival of a mysterious Japanese man and his dog. If you haven’t yet delved into international horror, The Wailing serves as the perfect introduction to the distinctly different yet equally if not more terrifying cinematic style of horror beyond the ‘mainstream’.

Are you eager to see Russell Crowe in action again?