This is a review of the series as a whole, and where they may or may not go from here.
When it was first announced that Fox TV had green-lighted a series based on the 1973 movie “The Exorcist,” I will be the first to admit I was against it. I am, for the most part, a horror purist. I decided to give the show a chance. I was so wrong about it.
The first episode started strong, gaining momentum as it went. It was suspenseful, had quite a few jump scares, but most importantly, played homage to the original movie. Unbeknownst to most, William Peter Blatty, who wrote the novel and the screenplay for the movie, was given writing credits. Jeremy Slater, the creator of the series, kept the feel of the movie, while moving the story into the present. It’s often hard to translate a film to a series, hence the reason so many have flopped. But Mr. Slater did it, and he brought the movie with him.
The series had the infamous spider walk, the hardened priest/exorcist with Father Marcus played by the wonderful Ben Daniels, who will always be Father Marcus. It also had the young, flawed, preist in Father Tomas, played by Alfonso Herrera, giving us a great portrait of a priest torn by desires of the flesh and the calling of the church.
The affected family, the Rances, gave us more great performances. I have to admit, I LOVED Alan Ruck’s portrayal of Henry Rance, Angela’s husband. Henry is recovering from a brain injury, so sometimes he doesn’t seem really present. Yet he sees all, though it might take him a bit to put it all together. Casey, who had the hardest time with Captain Howdy, was played by the lovely Hannah Kasulka. She was put through the wringer, yet gave a tremendous performance as the possessed child. Her tolerant, helpless sister, KitKat, was played by Brianne Howey. KitKat supported her family and stood by her sister. Geena Davis, coming back to give us a poignant performance as Angela Rance, was simply brilliant. Her performance as the real target for Captain Howdy, moved us from love, to hate, back to love. Speaking of the devil, Robert Emmet Lunney was so chillingly evil, deteriorating more and more with each episode.
The story was well written. Jeremy Slater picked a group of writers that kept us guessing and throwing us for a loop. How surprised were you when Chris, Angela’s Mom popped up? Then reveling that Angela is actually Regan McNeil, from the original movie, all grown up? That Captain Howdy possessed poor Casey to get to Angela/Regan? The whole season finale was so good. They wrapped up the story in a cohesive way, one that made sense.
Now, for a part that many may not like. The fate of “The Exorcist” is still up in the air. Some series, that are based on very popular movies that have a cult following, often fail. They fail because they don’t live up to the standards of the fans. Not the case with “The Exorcist.” It not only lived up to the movie, but surpassed fans expectations. With some series like this, it’s usually best to have that one great season and be done. But not this one. Due to some feedback I have gotten, the fans are right, there is much more to explore in a second season. Hopefully, the network won’t be blind and will renew “The Exorcist.”
Jeremy Slater did right by the fans, and the movie. The series was a huge success with the fans. They told a cohesive story, with great performances. “The Exorcist” has made it’s mark in TV history.
Thank you, Jeremy Slater, all the cast, writers and crew, for giving us a truly wonderful experience.