This article contains spoilers for The Exorcist, And Let My Cry Come Unto Thee
By Jay Hunter – In a world where horror television is making a healthy return to our screens, movie adaptations are never far behind. But in a world of Evil Dead and Omen small-screen adaptations, no show has had more of a mountain to climb than The Exorcist. Adapting the most infamous horror movie of all time was never going to be an easy task, and whilst the show never gets anywhere close to it’s silver-screen counterpart, Jeremy Slater has pulled off an admirable effort.
Opening in Mexico City, we’re introduced to the broken holy warrior, Father Marcus Keane played by the excellent Ben Daniels. Working alongside our main story, the fractured narrative revisits Mexico throughout the episode, slowly piecing together the story of Father Keane and his failed attempt at an exorcism in the Mexican capital where a young boy died in his arms.
The bulk of our story takes place in Chicago, beginning during a church service with the typical foreshadowing of faith during times of darkness, lead by the ambitious, but naïve Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera). We also meet the Rance family, comprised of Geena Davis, Alan Ruck, Hannah Kasulka and Brianne Howey.
The pilot episode benefits greatly from it’s performances, as it’s opening 40 minutes focus predominantly on character development, dialogue and set-up rather than out and out scares. Without the trio of Herrera, Davis and Daniels, the episode would no doubt feel slow, however such is the likability of all three actors, they manage to draw you in to what is a pretty uninspired plot.
The loss of faith, the panicking mother, the Priest and his padawan all seems very copy and paste. Not least from 1973’s The Exorcist, but also from every other exorcism movie proceeding it. For a show airing on FOX, it was a pleasant surprise, whether or not the show can push on and become it’s own entity over the course of the next twelve episodes remains to be seen, but it’s got a strong foundation to build upon.