Note – this is based on the 1st 2 episodes only
The TV version of The Exorcist is a formidable attempt at reimagining a famous, beloved movie. It had a lot to live up to and while it never reaches the heights of the movie, I think there’s still a lot to like.
For the most part, the first two episodes follow similar beats and patterns featured in the film. In many ways, the 1st episode is just a bad remake. There are also some notable similarities to some recent horrors like Paranormal Activity & The Conjuring.
It’s not until the second episode that things get interesting. At this point, the show clearly establishes what type of TV show it is & it introduces some interesting story elements that I didn’t see coming. Prior to watching the 2nd episode I was considering abandoning the show, now I’m intrigued & I want to keep watching.
The show is also a fairly good looking one. It features a muted colour palette similar to the recent Hannibal TV series. This creates a moody, bleak atmosphere that adds to the tone of the show. However, while the image itself & the cinematography of the exterior landscapes shines, the set design is a little flat and uninspired at times.
Where the show really fails is in its characters. So far, I haven’t seen a single character that I like or that I can somewhat relate to. This is no fault of the actors (not all of them at least), this is a writing issue. The episodes focus so much on creating scares & tension, they almost forget to create interesting characters.
The main character is the worst thing about the show. He is flat out boring. So far, I know little about him and it doesn’t help that the actor doesn’t seem all that interested in his material either. Hopefully this will be addressed as the series progresses.
The Exorcist is better than one might expect. It’s certainly not up to the standards of the film (a film I don’t like that much), but it looks like it’s trying to be/do its own thing and that has me intrigued.