By Julie Santiago
Fox’s new series “The Exorcist” isn’t a remake, but a smart adaptation of the classic 1973 horror film.
Before horror fans get upset and think Hollywood is ruining a classic movie by not doing it any justice, they should give this new series a chance.
In this story, the Georgetown exorcism (from the original 1973 film, “The Exorcist”) happened years ago and now takes place in present-time Chicago where a similar spiritual problem is arising.
Director Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), and writer-creator Jeremy Slater do a great job of introducing the story.
The series opens and builds an atmosphere of uneasiness and fear almost immediately. Disturbing images are introduced within the first five minutes.
Much like the horror films of today, the series uses a desaturated look that helps build fear. Television pilots are usually trial-and-errors and its weakness lies in its cheap jump scares.
There are different kinds of scare takes that directors can use. Some examples can be relying heavily on the use of special effects, sound or the content of the script itself.
The original movie was notably scary for its psychological themes such as having faith in the face of evil.
The director of the original “Exorcist” didn’t have the special effects of today but still managed to make a classic.
If Fox can continue to use the simplicity and horrifying tactics that made the original film popular, they can make this show successful.
The exorcist does not need unnecessary loud background music to startle audiences, but can be used once in awhile Jump scares only last momentarily and the true fear should come from content of the story. A successful horror show should bring fear in people even after it’s over.
The tension build-up felt like it was rushed in order to establish the plot early and stay within the shows time limit ,due to the fact that Wyatt is a movie director and is may not be used to the time limitations of a series.
However, the shows overall appeal comes from the story and cast.
The impressive cast includes Geena Davis as Angela Rance, who plays a mother and businesswoman. Ben Daniels plays priest Father Marcus Keane and Mexican novela star-and-singer Alfonso Herrera Rodríguez plays Father Tomas. People might recognize him from the novela and Mexican pop-music group “Rebelde.”
The story centers around the two priests and the Rance family. The Rance family has many problems including one family member who has a form of early onset dementia.
Angela believes that a demon has possessed her daughter and is haunting her home. Angela goes to Father Tomas for help.
Father Tomas and Father Marcus are not the typical priests, as each has his own problems with faith. When an unusual turn of events brings Tomas to Marcus, Tomas is convinced that there must be a higher-being.
The realness and complexity of these characters make the show relatable and entertaining to watch. If the series continues to use its storyline, characters and affective imagery they could have something real great.
“The Exorcist” airs on Friday nights on FOX at 9 p.m.