In recent years we’ve seen the rise of prequel-based television shows that are set before the events of popular movie franchise. With the success of shows like Hannibal and Bates Motel, it’s only a matter of time before more networks jump on the bandwagon and try to cash in the on the ongoing trend. The Exorcist definitely follows suit, but has a spin of its own – it feels more like a reimagining of the original film as opposed to a prequel.
The Exorcist is a story about the naive and potentially lost-in-his-direction father by the name of Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera). Father Tomas is visited by Angela Rance (Geena Davis, BeetleJuice, A League of Their Own) concerning her daughter and a possible demon infestation in their house. Father Tomas seeks out the help of Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels) whom he only knows exists via dreams that he’s been having of Father Marcus performing an exorcism in Mexico.
The show starts out really slow and with very little of the suspense you would expect from a story based on one of the most iconic horror movies of all time. I had very high hopes for this series, as the Exorcist is one of my all-time favorite movies, but the show just felt like it was lacking in that suspenseful, clench-your-covers-tight feeling that we’ve all come to expect from exorcism movies over the last 30 years.
There’s even a scene where Angela is telling Father Tomas about some freaky things that have been happening in her house, and I couldn’t help but think to myself, “That would have been awesome to see, throw some of that in there and less of the hobo walking around outside talking to himself.” There’s nothing demonic or creepy about a homeless guy talking to himself. Hell, I see that virtually everyday. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since the pilot was written by Jeremy Slater, best known for his amazing [Editor’s Note: Andrew is rolling his eyes here] screenplay for the 2015 Fantastic Four reboot.
Father Marcus, or as I like to call him Father Heisenberg, was my one redeeming quality of the pilot. His “I don’t care, but I secretly care” attitude puts just the right amount of charm into his character to easily make him the show favorite. It’s just too bad none of the other characters gave me anything to latch onto.
While the show is called The Exorcist, so far there’s nothing that ties it to the movie. In fact, the only similarity it has is the story of a young priest and an old priest teaming up to perform an exorcism on a girl. This certainly isn’t a series that I’ll be following weekly, but will most likely end up binge-watching at some point when I feel like punishing myself.
The Exorcist premieres Friday, September 23rd, exclusively on Fox.