The original The Exorcist is one of my three favourite films of all time, yes of course I make such lists, being everything that is scary and bewitching in a classic horror film. Of course, in my day, the film was infamous thanks to James Ferman the head of the BBFC deciding that it was too strong a piece to be watched at home and so he kept it locked in the draw with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Last House On The Left and Faces Of Death. Today’s young people probably find such stories quaint when you can now type in anything you want to find and be watching it within a minute,I had a pirate copy of The Exorcist with German subtitles and my dad drove me to Sidmouth on a Sunday once when they were showing it on the big screen for Halloween, one night only, man it was even more terrifying on the big screen, but at least I knew when to look away when the ‘Subliminal’ Captain Howdy made his appearance, I can still never keep my eyes open when I know he is coming and when I saw the ‘Version You’ve Never Seen’ on the big screen, i really freaked when he was added to another scene in the film, again with no explanation. That, my friends is true terror.
So, when I heard that The Exorcist was going to have a television series, I was not overtly excited, surely you could not follow Friedkin’s perfect direction and slowly unravelling story. Perhaps if James Wan had been attached or The Soska Sisters or Tom Six then I would have been more excited but it just seemed a strange idea. Then thanks to my friend Sue talking about it, I decided to give it a go and by golly, those early reviews were correct, The Exorcist is a great scary treat which follows the movie’s speed and build-up beautifully, you get to meet all of the characters properly before any of the horror begins and so you are heavily invested in the outcome. There is also a new Father who is high on the church’s list until he decides to quite literally shake things up by asking about Exorcism, having had dream which leads him to a Father who has just lost his collar but not his faith or his desire to heal. That is all you should know about The Exorcist going in as its slow reveals are all shocking and unexpected and you are certainly not going to refer to this show as ‘run of the mill’. More like running away from the mill, kicking and screaming. I was fully expecting Captain Howdy to pop up any second and fans of the film are rewarded with many references which I will not mention here, so there is still a chance that my cinematic adversary could turn up in the last two episodes to blow me away.
For a show that is rated ’14’ in the States, The Exorcist never seems to shy away from the horrors, but often it is what you are NOT seeing which is terrifying you and I can admit I WAS terrified by the end of the fourth episode which is how far the series has progressed so far. I had seriously terrifying dreams after watching it, waking up every hour thinking there was something or someone in my room. Despite having no faith in god it felt as if all I wanted was a great big fluffy bible to cuddle up to until the sun came up. I guess that is as big of a recommendation as I can give. It scared the FUCK out of me. Proceed with caution…and enjoy. 🙂