The Fox network has become one of the darker television networks. With shows like Lucifer, Gotham, Sleepy Hollow, and now the new television adaptation of The Exorcist, I think Fox may have found its niche as the horror network.
I like to consider myself a bit of an expert on The Exorcist, as the original movie from 1973, is by my account, the scariest movie ever released. I’ve read (and reviewed) the books, The Exorcist and Legion by William Peter Blatty and I have to say this new series based on these books has outdone itself.
The series opens with the introduction of the Rance Family, an upper middle class family in Chicago. Angela (Geena Davis) and Henry (Alan Ruck) have two daughters Katherine and Casey, (Brianne Howey from Scream Queens and Hannah Kasulka respectively). We also meet the priests Father Thomas Ortega played by Alfonso Herrera and Father Marcus Keane played by Ben Daniels (Flesh and Bone).
It follows the concept of the story of a regular family and how one of the members, we don’t know which one at first, gets possessed by a demon. Father Thomas is similar to the Father Karras character and Father Daniels is similar to the Father Merrin character.
The premise is simple: Angela Rance knows something is going very wrong in her home. Plagued by increasingly frightening nightmares, she isn’t the only one in her family suffering. Her husband Henry, who is recovering from a blow to the head while working as an architect, has both memory and functional issues. Their eldest daughter lost her best friend in a car crash and spends all of her time locked in her room and the younger one believes she hears strange noises coming from inside the walls. Angela is at her wits end, and she turns to Father Tomas Ortega, a progressive Catholic priest, setting him on a collision course with the old school but boundary pushing Vatican exorcist Father Marcus Brennan, as all their fates become twisted in a battle between good and an ancient evil.
Throughout the first five episodes, we learn about the family and the priests’ lives, giving the show a character driven story, which is personally the kind of show I like to see. It also pays homage to the original movie by having the famous “Tubular Bells” playing, having the member of the family who does get possessed (I don’t want to spoil it for you!) pee inappropriately, and has the silhouette of Father Merrin’s well known outfit of trench coat and fedora.
The cast is really spectacular, from seasoned actress Davis to the unknown Kasulka.
I have heard rumors that the show could be cancelled because of low ratings, which is hopefully where it stays: as a rumor. The show airs on Friday nights, and that has not always been the best night for TV shows. It usually signals the last season of a show, or that it’s not doing well with ratings. Friday can spell death for a show. And I really hope this isn’t the death of The Exorcist, because it really is a great show.
It’s scary enough to keep this horror enthusiast interested, and has enough story to keep even the most unenthusiastic horror fan hooked.
Rating: 4.5 stars