I’ll start off by stating that it’s refreshing to see a reboot series of the legendary horror novels on basic television, and not be disappointed! On the contrary, I say The Exorcist is worthy of a Friday night audience.
The cast is composed of an even blend of familiar and fresh faces, from Geena Davis (known for her roles in Cronenberg’s The Fly and Burton’s BeetleJuice) to Deanna Dunagan (who plays Nana in The Visit). Though it’s not a direct reboot of the 1973 film; rather a new take that follows the original blue print, with a new set of characters and backdrop.
We open with a familiar scenario: night time, third world country, eerie street dogs growling at an anxious seasoned priest (Father Marcus) who is making his way through a rundown unpaved neighbourhood to an old complex where the helpless screams of a child are emanating.
Cut to; Morning mass at a church in Chicago, where the young charismatic Father Thomas is conducting his sermon. Amongst the mass attendees is Angela, a woman in her early fifties who smiles and behaves like a normal mother, but seems to be carrying a burden underneath; her daughter Kate, a seemingly normal teenager; and Angela’s estranged husband Henry, whose behavior I would stamp as “suspicious”.
Angela has another daughter (Casey), that has secluded herself to her bedroom and Angela fears the worst – as in “Demonic Possession”. Now, Father Thomas is also going through his own dilemma; he experiences dark visions in public and has prophetic dreams that link him to Father Marcus’ exorcism on a young boy.
The performances in this pilot episode were solid. The direction, story, and overall production are pretty solid as well. Children, supernatural contortion, creepy attics, eerie voices and sounds, all the elements that create that desired unsettling suspense are all there. I would honestly say that this pilot was as good, if not more entertaining than this season’s AHS opener.
I recommend giving this show a chance, and I would consider it an obligation for true horror fans. It definitely has potential and I imagine that as the characters and story continue to develop, we could be in for one hell of a horror filled fall season!