Merrin's origin story was already covered in Exorcist 2: The Heretic, and it wasn't chilling then either. Originally this fourth film was a thoughtful study of faith by Paul Schrader, the kind that is so scary because it feels real, but the studio wanted more action, so the director of Cutthroat Island was brought in. Confounding reshoots and craaaazy CGI jackals turn this into a movie that should have been exorcized from the get go.