The Pope’s Exorcist ending explained – will there be a sequel?

the pope's exorcistSony Pictures

The Pope’s Exorcist has an intriguing beginning, but how does it end and what does it mean for a sequel?

If you’re looking for a new movie to scratch that Halloween spooky itch, then The Pope’s Exorcist, a new horror film starring Russell Crowe, should be a good time for you.

The official synopsis is as such: “Inspired by the actual files of Father Gabriele Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican, The Pope’s Exorcist follows Amorth as he investigates a young boy’s terrifying possession and ends up uncovering a centuries-old conspiracy the Vatican has desperately tried to keep hidden.”

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The ending of the movie is a demonic-filled one, but it also seems to set up a sequel. Which begs the question: will The Pope’s Exorcist have a follow up? And how does the film introduce this concept? Well, we’ll explain, but first: Warning! Major spoilers for The Pope’s Exorcist ahead.

How does The Pope’s Exorcist end?

The Pope’s Exorcist ends with an exorcism – what else would you expect?

A majority of the movie is taken up by Russell Crowe’s character, Father Gabriele Amorth – who is actually a real person – attempting to free a young boy and his family from a demonic possession. The demon won’t give his name out as, according to Amorth, stating said name will weaken him.

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But Amorth is determined to find out, especially since this demon seems stronger than anything he’s faced before. This leads him to a well that goes underneath the building where the boy is living, which is linked to both the Vatican and the Spanish Inquisition.

Amorth, and his helper Father Thomas, discover that this demon has been living under the building for hundreds of years. In fact, he had possessed influential members of the church in the past, often exorcists – he was one of the few demons that could possess multiple people – and with that ability, he infiltrated the church, and pushed Christians to commit heinous acts “In the Name of God.”  

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The Vatican then buried those who had been possessed in a catacomb under the building, and covered the whole thing up throughout history. But they weren’t able to exorcize the demon, which is revealed to be Asmodeus, the King of Hell.

And Asmodeus wants to enact his plans again. Using the boy’s possession as bait to draw Amorth in, Asmodeus wishes to possess the priest in order to infiltrate the Vatican, and with his other 199 burial sites across the world, he will raise an army of demonic servants.

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The knowledge of his name weakens Asmodeus, but he is still powerful enough to play on Amorth’s weaknesses, that being his guilt of not helping a young woman who believed she was possessed and ended up killing herself. Asmodeus continues to possess the young boy, along with his sister, and almost manages to kill Thomas and the children’s mother.

Amorth offers his soul in exchange for the children, and Asmodeus possesses him. Amorth attempts to kill himself to destroy the demon within him, but fails, which draws him down under the building once more.

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Because of his sacrifice, the family is able to get away, but Thomas remains to help exorcize Amorth. It takes a while, as both priests are faced with manifestations of their guilt, but eventually they are able to destroy Asmodeus in the pit of the catacombs.

The Pope, who had been suffering from a supposedly demonic illness throughout the film’s climax, recovers, and Amorth and Thomas enjoy a drink of whisky together.

However, this isn’t quite the end.

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How does The Pope’s Exorcist set up a sequel?

Amorth and Thomas return to the Vatican where they are congratulated by the Pope. It seems like the investigations into Amorth’s line of work have ended, but there is plenty more work to be done.

The Vatican is studying the journals of a Friar who had been possessed by Asmodeus, and it appears as though they have uncovered the other 199 burial sites where people can be possessed by the demon. And now it’s Amorth’s responsibility to exorcize them.

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He won’t be alone though, as Thomas is joining him. The two priests shake hands, and Thomas says, “Let’s go to work.” To which Amorth responds, “Let’s go to Hell.”

And while this ending isn’t an official call for a sequel, it sounds very much like a suggestion of one.

Will there be a The Pope’s Exorcist 2?

Yes, a Pope’s Exorcist sequel has been confirmed, though there is little information on it.

Apparently the film is in early development, with Crowe expected to return.

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As for what the sequel plot will be, since the movie is based on a true story, this could be both limiting and inspiring. Father Gabriele Amorth had more cases, over 100,000 in fact, so another film could be based on that. However, if filmmakers are wanting to keep true to their source material, that could limit what stories they can tell on screen.

The Pope’s Exorcist is now available to view in cinemas. Read more about the film here.

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If you have been affected by issues raised in this article, information and support is available from the Suicide Prevention Helpline 1-800-273-8255 (USA) or the Samaritans 116-123 (UK).

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