The Exorcist has long been the core of what true horror actually looks like. But for those of you who are going to tune in to The Exorcist TV series on Fox this fall, you should brace yourself for a load of disappointment.
For all intents and purposes, there is sure to be a massive series premiere for this show. But once fans really get to see that The Exorcist is not really the true vision of a story that was originally written by William Peter Blatty and immortalized on film by William Friedkin, then the episodes are going to fade away into the TV slush pile.
What is immediately clear about The Exorcist TV series is that it is that in name only. None of the core terror that was in the book and subsequent film back in 1973 are present in the TV series. There are also some people out there that just think that The Exorcist was scary because it had a possession in it, but there was much more to the story than just a demon inside a little girl’s body.
— 21st Century Fox (@21CF) May 17, 2016
First of all, you had a young mother who was not only single, but also had quite a famous life as a movie star and was surrounded by people who liked her for just that, with the exception of her two housemaids and a nanny. But then you add into the mix that she was an atheist who was filming in Georgetown, then the film took on a whole new life of its own.
The Exorcist, at its core, was about a single-parent family who does not do without, but still struggles and sees the challenges that many regular single-parent families see.
But then, The Exorcist starts to reveal that the story is not about a family, but rather an ensemble of characters who in one way or another arrive at the same conclusion. There was Father Karras, who was conflicted to the core. He was conflicted with his faith and therefore challenged as a priest. As a matter of fact, some could say that The Exorcist was a film about the titular character. Father Karras was indeed The Exorcist, and fans should note that the story was not called The Possession, The Demon, or The Family.
Father Karras struggled with his faith in God. Add to the challenges he underwent when he cared for, then subsequently lost, his mother, and he was all the more justified with his scourge of God.
— Alex Vorkov (@AlexVorkov) May 9, 2016
But in The Exorcist, God answered his lack of faith by putting him in direct contact with Chris MacNeil and her daughter, Regan. Events after that not only proved the existence of the devil to Father Karras, but also proved that he has the necessary resolve to challenge him in the name of God, alongside Father Merrin who came in to the event late.
In the end, Father Karras sacrificed himself to save Regan by drawing the demon out of her and into him, where he threw himself out a window, supposedly killing himself. It would not be until the second sequel to The Exorcist, which was titled Legion (The Exorcist III on film), that we learn that Father Karras survived by means of a legion of demons that put him back together.
So in The Exorcist TV series, according to iHorror, you have family that consists of a mother (Geena Davis), a father and two sisters. There has been no indication yet who will be possessed, but they are a catholic family who attend church regularly. They started hearing voices in the wall and two priests eventually become involved.
— Joseph DiBartolo (@DiBartoloJoseph) May 17, 2016
Suffice it to say that there is a possession in The Exorcist TV series, but it does not have those core elements that bring about the terror. It seems to be lacking in any character development that truly puts the stakes higher for this horror story. It does not have that overly ambitious cop who asks a few too many questions at the wrong times. It does not have that hopeless single mother feeling. It does not have the priest who struggles with his faith, or the old priest who seeks out that last task he can do for God before he enters the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Exorcist TV series does, however, have the name and the song. That seems to be about it.
[Image via Fox TV]