Wednesday, March 1, 2017
JASMINE'S THOUGHTS on The Exorcist Season 1 (2016)
About the Show
Widely regarded as the greatest horror movie ever made, The Exorcist broke box office records and terrified audiences around the world. Now, more than four decades after the Academy Award-nominated film, The Exorcist returns as a TV series.
Directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), The Exorcist is a propulsive psychological thriller following two very different priests tackling one family's case of horrifying demonic possession. Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera, Sense8, The Chosen) is the new face of the Catholic Church: progressive, ambitious and compassionate. He runs a small, but loyal, parish in the suburbs of Chicago. He has no idea that his quiet life is about to change forever. Deep in the slums of Mexico City, another priest has found himself locked in a life-and-death struggle with evil. Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels, Flesh and Bone, House of Cards) is a modern-day Templar Knight, an orphan raised since childhood by the Vatican to wage war against its enemies. Father Marcus is everything Father Tomas is not: relentless, abrasive and utterly consumed by his mission – and he constantly butts heads with his adversary within the church, Father Bennett (Kurt Egyiawan, Beasts of No Nation).
Caught in the middle of the two priests is the Rance family who are members of Tomas' parish. On the surface, they're a normal, American family, but all is not as it seems in this household. The patriarch, Henry Rance (Alan Ruck, Spin City, Ferris Bueller's Day Off), is recovering from a traumatic injury. Eldest daughter Katherine (Brianne Howey, Scream Queens) has become a recluse who refuses to leave her room. Her younger sister, Casey (Hannah Kasulka, The Fosters), thinks she's hearing strange noises coming from inside the walls. And mother Angela (Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Geena Davis, Commander in Chief, Thelma & Louise) believes there is something in the house, a demonic presence, growing stronger by the day. Desperate, she begs Father Tomas for help, unwittingly setting the naïve young priest on a collision course with Father Marcus. Separately, each faces an insurmountable task, but together they become the Rances' only hope against an evil force that has been mobilizing for centuries.
The Exorcist by William Petter Blatty
The Exorcist (1973) film
Alfonso Herrera as Father Tomas
Ben Daniels as Father Marcus
Geena Davis as Angela Rance
Alan Ruck as Henry Rance
Hannah Kasulka as Casey Rance
Brianne Howey as Katherine Rance
Kurt Egyiawan as Father Bennet
Okay....it's been a while since The Exorcist Season 1 aired its finale. I guess I finally have time to write this post. Plus, I used the time to think about this first season. This series is following some pretty "big shoes" in regards to the novel by William Peter Blatty and the 1973 film of the same name which was directed by William Friedkin, and starred Linda Blair. I would have to say that it isn't just a horror show. Elements of a psychological thriller, suspense, and a family drama are all intertwined in this series. Of course, the religious elements brings in the element of the supernatural into its storyline.
The film itself was something that did terrify me, but then, I was very young when I watched it. Yeah, I would say it was terrifying. I haven't read the novel...yet. But, I can only guess (until I read it) how terrifying this read could be. Although the series brings in some of the intensity that the film had, the show's horror element was tamed down. It did have those elements of surprise...that I can say they did capture that. I did have moments that I jumped and/or gasped. However, that supernatural element was definitely important in how this story played out. Moreover, the show had some great character development. Even with the few subplots that intertwined with the main storyline, each character's identity was fully revealed throughout the season. We got to know both Father Tomas and Father Marcus...from their past to present. I enjoyed the tie in to the 1973 film.
This psychological thriller didn't just capture the ominous feel of evil, it also captured the ups and downs of a family drama which was exacerbated with the supernatural battle between good and evil... In this case, a battle with demon possession. The various twists and turns in each episode kept me guessing. The show also boils down to Satan's plan to destroy humanity and rule the world.
The Exorcist is a show filled with elements of horror, suspense, and drama; however, the storyline itself focused on concept of faith and religion, family love, and the power of man's strength of will. I would have to say that this first season encapsulated the drive for each character's need to believe in something...be it real or supernatural. Of course, with the element of suspense and horror helped to give me chills. Plus, I am glad that the show wasn't too over the top with supernatural elements. I it worked very well that those supernatural elements were worked in gradually as to not veer away from the development of these amazing characters.
I seriously hope that this show gets renewed. With the topic that this show tackles, there is so much potential in which this series can focus on, especially following Father Tomas and Father Marcus.