In 1971, a terrifying novel was released about the demonic possession of a young girl and the attempt to exorcise the demon from her. It was simply called, The Exorcist. A few years later, a film version was released and is still recognized as one of the best horror films ever made. This month, a new version of the story will premiere on FOX that will undoubtedly bring you nightmares every week.
With her family facing some hard times, Angela Rance (Geena Davis) turns to religion to help her cope. She quickly realizes that there is a presence in her home, one she believes is demonic. Looking for help she confides in Father Tomas (Alfonso Herrera), who is hesitant to believe it’s anything but her mind playing tricks. However, after a string of nightmares about a man attempting an exorcism, turns out to be real, he believes his purpose is to help Angela’s family.
Set in Chicago, this updated take on a family shaken by something evil is everything horror fans will enjoy. It’s gritty, dark, and will only continue to scare the living daylights out of you as time progresses. The 10-episode season hasn’t wasted time getting to the fun stuff in this first episode. As for the story, it’s set up in a unique way as we’re treated to flashbacks, dreams and current events intertwined in a way that feels fresh and less of spoon-fed character introductions.
Don’t call it a remake though. Creator/writer Jeremy Slater is bringing a new story to the table, basing the show in the same universe as the novel and not necessarily the classic film. While there’s a slight mention to the exorcism in the book, this isn’t the MacNeil family and don’t expect to see Regan. It’s apparent that Slater respects the source material and is a fan, and he truly does it justice, however he’s making a point to create something of its own. Something old fans and new can both enjoy. But don’t worry, you may hear a familiar tune in the episode that will give you all sorts of nostalgic chills.
During the Chicago premiere, Slater joined us to introduce the episode and returned after with everyones new favorite priest, Alfonso Herrera, to do a little Q&A. It was a nice opportunity to get to know more about the making of the show, as well as what’s in store for us.
When asked about the possibility of Linda Blair, who portrayed Regan in the 1973 film, popping in, Slater said he was aiming for the second season. He wants the first season to speak for itself and wouldn’t like relying on cameos to sway interest. One thing he knows for certain, if she were to make an appearance, it will not be as Regan, but as an entirely new character. He also hinted that we may see an appearance by that glorious pea soup effect.
As for the overall look of the show, Slater really fought for the series to film in Chicago. They toyed with Vancouver, a popular filming destination, but he felt it looked too sterile. The architecture of Chicago was a real draw for him and the other location scouts.
Another great aspect is the use of practical affects as much as possible, which only allows the series to feel more grounded in reality. Digital effects were very limited in the making of the show and were only used when they absolutely needed to.
Don’t miss The Exorcist when it premieres Friday, September 23 at 9pm on FOX.