The Exorcist (2016–2018)
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Good storytelling is a rare and beautiful thing. Using effects to define your characters instead of characters to be there while you show off the effects is becoming as rare as really good storytelling. So letting a plot play itself out in it's own time instead of at a breakneck pace designed to please horror/action fans who want action and gore to define a story instead of characters and the events that have shaped them is becoming equally rare. As the implosion of Penny Dreadful made many of us aware, good storytelling, incredible characters & actors, beautiful sets and costumes, combined with action in service of the story still wasn't enough to save it from destruction. One that many of us are still hurting over.
So now we have Fox's The Exorcist... and after only one episode (which is all it took me for PD by the way) I know enough to be willing to commit myself to whatever amount of time has been given to this series in it's freshman season. Because, for me, the bottom line is that it's a really good example of good storytelling and it's nice to come back to worthy TV after running off to the solace of my bookshelves after the great debacle that was S/3 of PD.
I like the priests. I like that we're seeing signs that their backstories are going to be more fleshed out. I was appreciative of the nod made to the movie out of what was clearly respect and I especially like that the family involved is both diverse and will also have stories of their own to tell. So, in short, it already appears to me that The Exorcist plans to be an actual STORY; played out over a season and that it takes itself, it's characters and it's audience seriously.
Right now, that's more than enough for me. In point of fact, it's enough to guarantee that I'm going to be there throughout it's freshman season hoping against hope that it too has started as it means to go on.
Horror thrillers that air on television are usually fly-by-night and usually don't fair well among viewers. That wasn't the case with The Exorcist. This is a strong show with a strong plot, and is really well-cast. I had it's reel-you-in hooks and I was at the edge of my seat the whole time. One of my favorite scenes, though not scary, was the dining room scene where Katherine berated her dad's mental capacity, only to be chastised by Father Tomas. I LOVED that scene!
I won't publish any spoilers, even if I had any. I just wanted to post that I think this could potentially be one of the scariest shows on television. I'm a die-hard horror fan, and I can appreciate watching (in my opinion, anyway)one of the best horror remakes I've seen in a long time... And, at 58 y/o, I've seen a lot of horror! It isn't bloody-gory yet, but for me, that could well be part of its appeal.
Personally, I would've rated it a 10, but I noticed only five episodes listed. I hope that isn't so, as the first episode was really intriguing and five episodes do not equal a fulfilling season--it's more a tasteless tease.
KUDOS to everyone involved in the making of this show. It is very well written, cast, directed and produced. This is truly refreshing. My television screen was getting boring.
Just like the Omen which has now been made into a series i was worried for the exorcist but I was pleasantly surprised. The casting is excellent the conflicted priest, the exorcist whose having a crisis of faith. I won't give away the twist but it is quite entertaining.
They haven't let us down so far in my opinion the pilot gives you just enough to make you definitely come back for another episode and hey what more can you ask for from a pilot, i enjoyed it so much it became my first ever review on IMDb.
Also, for people worried about IMDb listing only 6 episodes in the show, worry not! Hannah Kasulka (the excellent actress who plays Casey Rance in the show) has told me that they are filming ten episodes for the first season! :D
Original review follows:
OK, so let me start off by saying I'm a huge The Exorcist (1973) fan, and think that it is the best horror movie ever made. Similarly, I also liked The Conjuring 1 and 2, Insidious 1 and 2, The Ring, The Babadook, and The Thing (1982). Talking about TV shows that are usually categorized as horror, I also enjoy The Walking Dead. American Horror Story is meh-ish but Season 1-2 were pretty good. Lastly, Supernatural isn't exactly horror nowadays, but I still enjoy watching it.
I think it's important that you know about my taste in horror, so you can judge and weigh my review. I started watching this episode with a skeptical mind, knowing how this reboot of a TV series of my favorite horror movie could go horribly wrong, likely many other remakes and reboots out there.
So, the episode started off as you might have expected, hints of horror and tension, but nothing really to make you jump out of your seat. However, after around 10-15 minutes, it started to become really interesting. There were scenes of genuine suspense, and no, I'm not talking about strange noises (which are pretty standard in all horror movies), but actually a few attempts at exorcism.
This is where the show really started to shine for me, the special effects used were decent, though I would appreciate a little less close-ups to the face and shaking cameras in future episodes. But generally, it was overall pretty good and reminded me a lot of the movie and the book (yes, I've read it) it's based on. I also liked the references sneaked in (especially the one in the article, and right at the end).
Acting was spot-on. I have seen Ben Daniels in House of Cards, and Geena Davis in Stuart Little, but the rest of the cast were generally unknown to me. That said, all of them really surprised me with excellent acting, especially Alfonso Herrera, Hannah Kasulka, and Brianne Howie. These characters actually felt relate-able and not the usual nincompoops we see in horror movies. I liked how the characters immediately consulted specialists instead of dragging the thing out for two or three episodes.
As this is a spoiler-free review, I'm not going to go into the details, but if I had to rate the following out of 10, this is how I would do it:
Story: 9 ||||| Cast / Acting: 9.5 ||||| Dialog: 8.5 ||||| Horror: 8.5 ||||| Direction / Effects etc: 8.5 ||||| Originality: 9.5
The only thing I found slightly lacking was the amount of horror in it. Sure, there were legit scenes of terror, but I'd really like to see the show go beyond and scare the hell out of me like The Exorcist did. (I couldn't sleep the entire night after I watched that movie almost four years ago, when I was 16).
All in all, if you're bored of the current "horror" shows which are kind of failing at horror *cough* AHS *cough* Supernatural *cough*, this is looking like the show to go to. That said, this is just my reaction after watching one episode, and I could be wrong. However, the preview for the next episode looked really awesome and I really think that this show is going to be great, must watch! ;)
P.S: Also, watch out for that twist at the end of the episode, pretty great! ;)
It was actually a lot better than I dared hope. It was well filmed, smart, stylish, and compelling. It has some great actors playing characters who appear to have at least some layers of depth to be unraveled in the coming weeks. It was good to see Geena Davis. That was a nice surprise. The casting overall seems well thought out, and it works for me.
There's only been one episode at this point, but it was pretty, pretty good (to borrow the Larry David phrase). I've got my fingers crossed that the show can maintain its current level of intrigue.
I may be overstepping a bit, but it has the POTENTIAL to measure up to American Horror Story (season 2) and maybe even...Penny Dreadful (season 2).
We'll soon find out.
Let's hope the next few episodes can keep up to the first.
S2 is also good though not as good as S1.
I am devastated that this show is cxl'd, I have been expecting a S3 all year, hoping the story would lead us back to the family from s1.
Geena Davis, Ben Daniel and Alfonso Ferrera are phenomenal, as are all the cast in both seasons.
BRING IT BACK!!!
Episode 1: Having seen almost all the 'Exorcist' series including the Chris MacNeil case, I would say this one has done an amazing job for a good T.V. 'The Exorcist' has been the scariest movie ever made and the producer Jeremy Slater decided to be brave and created a new T.V version of it paying homage to the original without stealing the entire story line, however kept affiliations with the same (I am a big fan of 'Tubular Bells' theme from the original).
This case is of the Rance family, though I am not sure if series is going to get beyond a single case. Angela Rance (Geena Davis, YES!) is a devout Catholic who turns to her parish sympathetic priest, Father Tomas Ortega (played by Alfonso Herrera), when her house seems spooked. Tomas had doubts about his faith and having believed for so long that demons are not real, starts his research by simply doing a Google search on exorcism. He finds a newspaper article alluding to the deaths (as portrayed in the 1973 movie) of Fathers Merrin (Max von Sydow) and Karras (Jason Miller) in the Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) case. Hence, this T.V version can be considered as a prequel. He also discovers a link to an exorcism performed in Mexico City by Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels), an apostate living nearby in the St. Aquinas Retreat Centre. He takes interest in finding more about Father Marcus as he has seen him in his visions/dreams performing exorcism on Gabriel, a boy who was possessed. (scenes from his dreams were really chilling and spooky!)
There were few things that did not go well. The connection between Father Marcus and Tomas is yet to be understood (may be they have a purpose, together as a means of help to the Rance family?).
Horror movie scripts take a lot of time to build the case with characters getting involved in some sort of demonic happenings that makes them believe that their house/family is haunted. Here, however, the story went two-three gear ahead with characters self-concluding the demonic presence in their house. That was quick. (UPDATE, after watching episode 5, this is now justified)
There are scenes that are scary, the story line from the very first episode gives you a surprise element. The ending was spot on, leading viewers to get hooked for upcoming episodes. Overall, this is a must watch. Do not get disappointed if you feel the pace was kinda-slow in the beginning as this is pilot (first episode) and hopefully the makers are trying to build the case before we actually see what is this all about. I really liked the way how the T.V version kept it's association with the 1973 movie. You have me, you definitely have me!
So the challenge was o.k. lets see and so far the show has potential. I like the actors and Geena Davis as the mother is encouraging and for the first episode it was scary especially the scene in the attic. But since I seen the movie what put chills in my spine is the music by Mike Oldfield which I acquired this movie score back in 1972. I will be watching and hopefully being able to sleep. If anyone hasn't seen the movie don't watch until you see this classic either somewhere where they may show older movies or in the safety of your home. Shut the light but have someone to lean on because you are going to need it.