It's not like remakes are new or anything, but lately it seems as if they're remaking everything. Movies are one thing, but when it comes to TV shows, creators at least have a chance to stretch their wings and give the stories that they're "re-telling" room to breathe.
When we heard that FOX was making The Exorcist into a TV show, we had the same reaction that we always do when it comes to remakes: "Of course they're remaking it, why wouldn't they?" Add to that the fact that The Exorcist is an excellent and highly-nuanced movie that no one has come close to duplicating over the past 40+ years since its release, and it sounded even worse.
We just knew that they'd make it safe and glossy, and fill it with plenty of diversity and whatever else the Twitter voices of the moment were demanding. Diversity is a wonderful thing, but I truly had visions of them saying "Let's remake The Exorcist, only with a woman exorcist this time!" simply because that's what people "want."
Well, we watched episode 1 of The Exorcist, and were really pleasantly surprised at how great it turned out. It's nothing close to the movie, mind you, but it did its own thing pretty well, and we're excited to see more.
Then we have Angela, head of the Rance family. Her husband is in the beginning stages of dementia, and the eldest of her two daughters (Kat and Angela), is a handful herself; Kat is moody and troubled ever since being in a car accident that claimed the life of her best friend. Of course this leads Angela to believe that something spooky is going on in the house (?!?), and so she goes to Father Tomas for help.
To avoid spoiling the episode, let's just say that from here on out Father Tomas goes to see Kat to determine whether or not she's got a Demon inside of her, and then is driven to seek out Father Keane to help him with the possessed Rance daughter.
|DON'T GO UP THERE.|
I daresay it was even a good hour of TV.
There was an underlying tone of impending supernatural doom throughout the episode that played well; the scene in the attic was creepy, and the twist unexpected; the exorcism scenes, even though they were dreams/forced flashbacks, were done really well; and the cast all did a solid job with their roles. Their characters were all a bit cookie-cutter, and some of them came off as predictably stiff, but the actors made them likable. Geena Davis and Ben Daniels were the standouts.
That's not to say that the episode didn't have its issues. They crammed an awful lot of backstory into 43-minutes, which made some of it feel rushed. The back and forth between the two priest's worlds never really allowed us to get to know either of them enough to really care about their plight. Same goes for the Rance family; we get that they have it rough, but they kinda felt like caricatures to me. Also, I really hope that they don't rely on cheap jump-scares going forward. The show is solid enough to get by without that kind of crap.
The first episode did a great job of setting an eerie tone though, and we're definitely interested to see where the story goes from here.
|THE ATTIC. THAT'S WHERE THE STORY IS GOING.|
We liked the first episode, and if you have yet to see it, you should give it a look.
The Exorcist airs Friday nights at 9, on FOX.