The new horror show on Cinemax comes from Robert Kirkman, the Kentucky native, and creator of The Walking Dead. Outcast expands on classic horror tropes as it follows a depressed man, Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit) with a mysterious power and a troubled past, and a preacher, Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister) who performs exorcisms. The two men stumble upon evil entities spreading through the small Southern town of Rome, West Virginia. At points, the show fell into a "demon of the week" episodic nature but provided enough intrigue to push through a solid introductory season.
This horror original based on graphic novel doesn't go for the easy jump scare but draws out the tension with slow, menacing dread that builds through each episode. The most gripping story of the series is the plight of Megan Holter (Wrenn Schmidt), Kyle's sister, whose terrible experiences catch up with her and her husband Officer Mark Holter (Mark Holter). This subplot flips upside down as it collides with the main storyline to make for an awesome and chill-inducing finale.
The main performances are great, Glenister and Fugit bring home the troubled demon hunters but the supporting cast is terrific. From Reg E. Carthy as Chief Giles to Brent Spiner as the mysterious lead villain Sydney. The show also boasts an impressive cast of young actors including Madeleine McGraw, Callie Brooke, and Gabriel Bateman. The small town feels fully populated and viewers can easily lose themselves in the everyday troubles alongside the paranormal mystery.
The brief moments of special effects are well produced and mesh well with great cinematography that creates a spooky environment. I've not yet read the graphic novel though I have purchased the first three volumes so I'll see how they compare with the television adaptation. I'm especially excited to see where the show takes the story after this great initial season that sets up the conflict nicely.
Horror shows are growing in popularity one several channels and Outcast has positioned itself somewhere near the top. I would've have liked the show to try a few more jump scares to really keep me on the edge of my seat, but the looming dread worked just fine and fits more with the style of this show. Add this to all of the great television coming out in 2016.