In “Believer,” 13-year-old girls Angela (Lidya Jewett) and Katherine (Olivia O’Neill) are possessed by the demon Lamashtu, much to the horror of their respective families. When Angela’s father, Victor (Leslie Odom, Jr.), and Katherine’s parents, Miranda (Jennifer Nettles) and Tony (Norbert Leo Butz), gather a group of religious leaders and friends within their community to help exorcize the girls, Lamashtu fights back by offering the families a choice: One of the girls can live, but not both. Although Miranda and Victor know this is the demon attempting to trick them, Tony cracks under the pressure, telling the demon that he chooses his daughter. As a result, the trickster demon takes Katherine’s soul, and we see her in a dreamlike dimension being pulled into darkness by many hands while Angela is set free of Lamashtu.
Colangelo asked Green if this ending was always part of the film, and whether there may have been an alternate concept where both girls got to live. Green explained:
“Yeah, we shot it. We wrote it, we shot it. There are little moments even in some of the trailers that you’ll see of a baptism that were from a version of the movie that we did. I’m a really, I don’t know, spontaneous and playful, organic [director], taking the detours and inspirations that I found along the way, and something didn’t feel honest about just a clean win. I won’t go into the very ending of the movie, but there’s a moment where I wanted real warmth, but I wanted to make sure that there was always a mark for the other one [the demon] on the scoreboard.”