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Exorcist Author William Peter Blatty Dead at 89

Horror News Network is sad to announce the death of The Exorcist writer William Peter Blatty.  The news was announced today by collaborator and friend William Friedkin on twitter.  Friedkin directed the adaptation of Blatty’s novel which was scripted by Blatty himself.

The Exorcist is considered by many experts as the greatest horror film of all time.  The supernatural shocker captivated audiences in 1973 and currently sits at number nine on the all-time box office list (when adjusted for inflation).  The film not only terrified movie goers, but also inadvertently increased attendance at local churches around the country and the world, putting “the fear of God (or more likely Pazuzu)” into lapsed Catholics everywhere. read more

The Exorcist’s Fan-Led Renewal Campaign Results in Red Feathers for Fox

I’ve heard of fan renewal campaigns involving “read letters”… but “red feathers” is a first!

Fox has been quiet about whether there will be a second season of The Exorcist ever since the season finale aired. While the ratings aren’t great, they are consistent; and the show has developed a hardcore following worldwide due to its sophisticated and nuanced storytelling and its diverse cast of magnetic characters. Back in November, fans began to take to Twitter with #RenewTheExorcist in order to show Fox their strong support for the show.  read more

The Exorcist: The Series “Three Rooms” Episode Review

“Three Rooms,” the final episode of Season One of Fox’s The Exorcist, provides a conservative, yet satisfying ending to the season. Having played most of its tricks in the previous two thrilling episodes, “Three Rooms” dials back on the bloodshed and leads its viewers towards a safe conclusion to the season, and potentially the series. After spending a season proving its excellence to fans and critics alike, The Exorcist leaves its viewers hungry for more.

The events of this chapter probably could have played out over more than the length of one episode. While all of the plot points were nicely wrapped up, there wasn’t as much time for the characters to breathe as the denouement began to unfold. Robert Emmet Lunney’s Captain Howdy was so well developed over the course of the early episodes, his exit seemed a bit rushed. With that said, the moment provided a bonding experience for the Rance family that they’ll never forget! It was nice to see the characters all work together to bring about a positive change. At the start of the season, each member of family seemed like he or she was struggling to find out where each one fit into the family structure. By the final scene, they appear closer than ever. read more

The Exorcist: The Series “162” Episode Review

“162,” the penultimate episode of the first season of Fox’s The Exorcist, continues the series’ tradition of captivating and meaningful storytelling, all while ramping up suspense levels to unprecedented heights as it barrels towards next week’s finale.

Episode Eight featured the surprising deaths of Father Bennett (Kurt Egyiawan) and Chris MacNeil (Sharon Gless). Episode Nine increases the body count by killing off fan favorites Lester and Cherry Rego (Ken Marks and Keira Naughton), Mother Bernadette (Deanna Dunagan), and the entire Convent of Our Lady of Mercy. While this is an incredible loss of characters who have all contributed towards the unique atmosphere of the show, it’s clear that the showmakers are serious about increasing the odds as the story progresses. Captain Howdy (Robert Emmet Lunney) has achieved integration with Angela Rance (Geena Davis), and there had to be serious consequences for it to mean anything. The expression on Father Marcus’ face as he takes in all of this death says it all: there’s no going back at this point. Anything less would have caused the viewers to seriously question one of the following scenes where Marcus pistol whips and nearly drowns Brother Simon (Francis Guinan). The show seems very aware that it can’t raise the stakes without raising the consequences. Suddenly, none of the cast feel safe anymore. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Fox has not yet committed to renewing the series for Season Two. Maybe Jeremy Slater, the show’s creator, doesn’t want to hold back on telling his story in case the first season is all he gets to tell it. read more

Autograph Collecting: The Exorcist TV Series Edition

Welcome to Horror News Network’s Autograph Collecting, an article devoted to exploring the autographs of the talented people who bring us the horror content we love. Today, we will take a look at the autographs of the people behind Fox’s The Exorcist television series.

When a new show hits the airwaves, autograph collectors primarily need to look for pieces that were signed in person for autograph collectors at locations like airports, outside restaurants, on the red carpet, etc. When a show becomes more popular and has run for multiple seasons, fans tend to have more opportunities at official signatures by means of convention signings, officially licensed autographed trading cards, and private signings. The Exorcist is kind of unique. While it is a new show with many new faces, Fox and the showmakers have created several unique opportunities for fans to collect autographs in order to drum up hype for the show. This article will track those various opportunities. read more

Fans and Critics Mobilize to Save Fox’s The Exorcist: How You Can Help!

With just two more episodes of the first season of The Exorcist to go, fans are concerned over the fact that Fox has been silent about plans for renewing the series for another season. Horror News Network’s first review of the show was lukewarm at best, but the show has grown to become one of our favorite horror shows on television. Other media outlets followed a similar trajectory: Bloody Disgusting recently published an editorial entitled, “I Misjudged The Exorcist and I’m Sorry.” read more

The Exorcist: The Series “The Griefbearers” Episode Review

Chapter Eight of Fox’s The Exorcist, entitled “The Griefbearers” continues to prove the series’ reputation as a quality program that takes creative risks to achieve an expert level of horror storytelling. This episode raises the stakes with the ultimate exorcism of Casey Rance (Hannah Kasulka) and the deaths of two important characters… events which will certainly build towards the high stakes climax of this season.

Geena Davis gives her strongest performance of the season in Episode Eight. Three episodes after a major twist revealed that Angela Rance is actually Regan MacNeil of the original 1973 film, the show now provides Davis with more scenes and more material than ever before. Angela now feels much more like a main character, and her internal struggle over how she is in some way responsible for her daughter’s suffering plays out in numerous interesting ways. One particularly effective scene featured Angela seeing her childhood self in the dusty basement of the classic film, speaking to the Captain Howdy who captivated her as a child. An earlier Horror News Network review commented on how a scene depicting Captain Howdy slowly chipping away at Regan as she lets her guard down wouldn’t have felt out of place in the original film. Through a series of surprise events in the series, the viewers actually get to see that scene!Thankfully, it doesn’t disappoint. Robert Emmet Lunney is creepier than ever before with his bright red and white satin clothing, shoulder bird, and grey nail polish. His interactions with adult Angela and child Regan are perverse and manipulative. It is interesting that his technique seems to be tailored to each individual person he meets. His early encounters with Casey were grossly charming. His early interactions with Regan were creepily childlike. With Angela, he is confrontational and direct. It is clear that the fact that Captain Howdy has been waiting for Angela for over 40 years makes him just as eager to get to her as she is to free her child of this pain. read more

The Exorcist: The Series “Father of Lies” Episode Review

Episode Seven of Fox’s The Exorcist series, entitled “Father of Lies,” continues to bring the series into an interesting direction as several main characters are drawn into intense new physical and psychological conflicts. Based on the events of this episode, it’s clear that the season is headed for an explosive climax.

The age of the 24 hour media cycle is explored early on in the episode, as the Rance household is surrounded and harassed by fans, protesters and reporters. While Sharon Gless’ Chris MacNeil can take it because she’s seen it all before, these conditions are particularly stressful for Geena Davis’ Angela. Some of the particularly fascinating scenes of this episode portray an interesting dichotomy between Chris’ and Angela’s respective strengths and weaknesses. Angela’s newfound insight into what Chris must have felt during Angela’s own brush with the demon is the perfect example of the character-centric kind of show The Exorcist has become. Once the grieving mother, Chris now has to play a different role in what is happening to the Rance family, and her strength seems to keep the other family members just barely moving forward. read more

Executive Producer of The Exorcist Shares Insight into Season One and Beyond

Variety recently sat down with Jeremy Slater, the creator and one of the executive producers of Fox’s The Exorcist series. Slater revealed many interesting details about the creative process of making the show and explained where the series will be going in the future.

Readers who have been following Horror News Network’s reviews know that the show is surprisingly intelligent and character-driven, especially for a TV-14 network show that airs at 9:00. While the pilot episode felt a little too reliant on the source material, the episodes that have followed have proven to be thoughtfully crafted and unafraid to explore ideas and storytelling techniques which go beyond the 1973 original movie. Based on Slater’s comments, these refreshing qualities were no accident: read more

The Exorcist: The Series “Star of the Morning” Episode Review

Two weeks since its series-altering surprise reveal, Fox’s The Exorcist returned to television this Friday with “Star of the Morning,” an episode which solidly builds upon this new surprising development. Last episode’s review avoided spoiling the major twist to give readers time to catch up with the series, but now it’s time to dive in!

In Episode Five, it is revealed that Geena Davis’ Angela Rance is really Regan MacNeil of the original The Exorcist film. While this twist explains some things, like why Angela’s mind jumped right to “possession” as soon as things started going wrong in her house; this change to the series mid-season could end up taking away from what has been built so far if the showrunners are not careful. Based on this week’s developments, it seems like the show is looking to build directly off of the first movie… potentially ignoring the mediocre Exorcist II: The Heretic and the slightly better The Exorcist III. We learn that Regan changed her name in an attempt to start fresh after her mother, Chris MacNeil, exploited her possession story for financial gain. No one, not even her husband Henry (Alan Ruck), knew of her secret, and this naturally allows for a lot of resentment and conflict between the various characters once it is known that Angela could have potentially been a better help in curing Casey (Hannah Kasulka) had she been completely honest about all of the variables. read more