Monday, December 26, 2016

TV Show Review: The Exorcist

This television reboot of the classic horror series brought something new and interesting to the demonic possession story. The show sets up a simple premise with a young girl Casey Rance (Hannah Kasulka) begins to act strangely and a young priest Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera) who intervenes. Also very similar to the original film is an older more experienced priest and my favorite character of the series in Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels) plus a concerned mother Angela Rance (Geena Davis).

All this set up takes a little longer as this show fills up ten episodes. The demonic possession takes a little while to reach full green vomiting and gruesome body jerking but eventually the payoff comes a few episodes in, to a frightening effect. The show never gets too scary though it is in the horror genre. It is more of a tv show sort of scary that is easier to watch and doesn't use many jump scares. The violence is there though the most of it occurs off-screen with hints at the true nature of the murders and possessions. 

Another conspiracy plays to add to the episodes as the impending visit of the Pope himself to Chicago brings on a demonic plan to assassinate him. The head of papal security Father Bennett (Kurt Egylawan) has encounters Father Keane before in previous exorcisms gone wrong and knows his snooping around Chicago means trouble. They uncover an organ-stealing demon club that trades off being possessed. One of these demons is the one after the Rance family and the reason for that is soon revealed.

The story is tied right to the original movie seeming to skip over the lackluster sequels. The show was intriguing enough and added some interesting new twists to keep me watching each episode. It allowed for a possible sequel and additional seasons though I'm sure if it will get renewed. The acting helped this movie along. Being possessed can't be easy but Kasulka pulls off the eerieness of twisted heads and green vomit encrusted face. Both Herrera and Daniels do well with one another debating the best approach to the exorcism, one using his passion, the other his experience. It was nice to see Davis on the screen though not equivalent of her previous performances.

I'd like to see how the demonic conspiracy plays out if they did continue on with the season. They expounded upon the mythology depicting what it was like to be possessed and included some creepy imagery. I liked this show and found it spooky and entertaining. It adds to the progressing genre of horror television shows that seem to be getting better and better. 

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