Moria gives it 3.5 stars and calls it this director's finest moment, saying, "The Manitou contains a particularly strong building atmosphere of eldritch eeriness. The film could almost be an H.P. Lovecraft story". Horror News thinks it's fun. Roger Ebert gives it 1 star and calls it "easily the least plausible thriller since, oh, “Infra-Man.”" Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 49%.